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PREVIEW | INDY ELEVEN HOSTS EASTERN CONFERENCE LEADERS NEW YORK RED BULLS II

By IndyEleven.com, 09/03/19, 1:15PM EDT

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The Boys In Blue Look to Equal Home Unbeaten Record

#INDvNY Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven vs. New York Red Bulls II
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 – 7:00 P.M. ET
Lucas Oil Stadium  |  Indianapolis, Ind.

 

Follow Live:

Local/National TV: MyINDY-TV 23

Streaming Video:  ESPN+

Radio (Spanish): Exitos Radio 1590 AM

In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Honda

 

Setting the Table:

Indy Eleven: 14W-4L-5D, 47 pts., 4th in Eastern Conference

New York Red Bulls II: 16W-5L-5D, 53 pts., 1st in Eastern Conference

Click here for the full USL Championship standings 

 

 

First 2019 Meeting:

 

New York Red Bulls II  2 : 1  Indy Eleven | Sunday, April 28

Indy Eleven saw its four-game winning streak snapped after giving up a pair of second-half goals at Montclair State University Soccer Park in Montclair, N.J. Indiana’s Team went up early via Dane Kelly’s first of the season 13 minutes in, however, tallies by Jared Stroud and Tom Barlow nine minutes apart midway through the second half would push the home side to victory. The game marked the second time that Indy Eleven would hold a second-half lead on the road, only to lose the full points – something it also did in its season opener at Saint Louis in early March.  

#NYvIND:  Highlights |  Recap  |  Stats

 

Last Time Out:

Louisville City FC  1 : 1  Indy Eleven  |  Friday, August 30

Just as in their first meeting nearly two months earlier, Indy Eleven and Louisville shared the spoils from a 1-1 draw that saw the Boys in Blue take a first-half lead and Louisville City equalize in the second stanza. As in their first meeting on July 27, the Eleven took the lead through striker Tyler Pasher, whose 10th of the season came in the 42nd minute and gave Indy the momentum heading into the locker rooms. LCFC’s pressure paid off in the 70th minute through substitute forward Abdou Thiam, whose rebound header evened things up in the build up to a chippy finish at Louisville Slugger Park.

#LOUvIND:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats

 

Swope Park Rangers  1 : 5  New York Red Bulls II  |  Saturday, August 24

An even start at Children’s Mercy Park saw New York’s Sean McSherry and Swope Park’s Wilson Harris trade goals within the first 15 minutes. However, things swung firmly in Red Bulls II’s favor after a 25th minute red card was issued to SPR’s Alexsander, resulting in McSherry’s second (40’) in addition to goals by Edgardo Rito (45’), Jared Stroud (51’) and Amarildo de Souza (90+4’).

 

#SPRvNY:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats

 

 

#INDvNY Storylines

  • Wednesday’s monumental clash at Lucas Oil Stadium could very well be the biggest regular season game for Indy Eleven in recent memory, as the “six-pointer” could have huge implications on the upper echelon of the USL Championship Eastern Conference playoff race.
  • Fourth-place Indy Eleven (47 pts.) enters the match six points behind first place New York, but also holds three games in hand on Red Bulls II (53 pts.). A win would also allow Indy to pass the third-place Tampa Bay Rowdies (49 pts.) and clip the heels of second-place Nashville SC (51 pts.) – teams which Indy also holds three and four games in hand on, respectively.  
  • As if the standing implications were not enough, Indy Eleven is on the cusp of equaling its club-record 21-game home undefeated streak on Wednesday night. Since a 2-1 win over Charlotte Independence last July 7, the Boys in Blue have rattled off 13 wins and 7 draws at Lucas Oil Stadium, including a 3-1 comeback win over Saint Louis FC its last time out on August 25. That run includes an 8W-0L-4D ledger in 2019, during which Indy Eleven has outscored the opposition 16-4 and notched eight clean sheets.
  • Indy Eleven currently trails the series with New York 1W-2L-0D after its April 28 defeat in New Jersey. The two sides defended their home turf in last year’s meetings, New York scoring a 4-1 win on May 26 and Indy Eleven following suit with an emphatic 3-0 triumph of its own at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 5.
  • With his 10th goal of the season last Friday at Louisville, forward Tyler Pasher registered the fourth double-digit goal season in club history, joining Eamon Zayed (15 in 2016 and 11 in 2017) and Jack McInerney (10 in 2018). Pasher currently sits T-14th on the USL Championship’s Golden Boot chart and T-5th in the Eastern Conference.
  • Indy Eleven has been doing it with defense this season, as it leads the league with only 18 goals allowed. The Boys in Blue are also tied for third in the Eastern Conference in clean sheets recorded with 10, just one behind Nashville and Tampa Bay and two behind overall league leader Phoenix Rising’s 12.
  • New York Red Bulls II recently had a connection to the Hoosier State in defender Rece Buckmaster – however, that was before the recently-graduated Indiana Hoosier made the move up to the club’s Major League Soccer first team. The Auburn, Indiana, native had started 15 of his 17 appearances with NYRBII before getting the “call up” on August 3.

 

Indy Eleven Player to Watch | FW Ilija Ilic

Friday at Louisville marked Ilic’s third start since returning from an injury that kept him sidelined for a good portion of the season. Judging from the stat sheet and the eye test, it was the Serbian’s mark that he’s back to full steam – in addition to full fitness by logging his first 90-minute performance since returning to the lineup.

A ridiculous 96.4% passing display, including the pinpoint diagonal that set up Tyler Pasher’s goal … the sheer number of duels he entered (winning 7 of his 16) … the three fouls suffered AND committed … his two chances created and three shots taken ... everywhere you looked, it seemed Ilic was right in the thick of things. It was alternately flashy and gritty, but it was always intelligent – and hopefully a sign of things to come for an Indy attack looking for some steadiness down the stretch.

 

New York Red Bulls II Player to Watch |  MF Jared Stroud

Tom Barlow’s break-neck pace of production – 11 goals in 13 appearances – may be the showstopper of New York’s stat sheet, but what Stroud brings to the table could be more valuable. On a team where you never know who is going through the revolving door to the parent club, the stability that Stroud has provided in midfield – appearing in all 26 games and starting all but two – is every bit as important as his team-high 12 goals. Stroud hit the scoresheet the first time against Indy and has tallied five goals in New York’s last five road contests, making him priority number one for Eleven’s league-best defense to track.

 

 

Match-up to Mark | Indy Eleven vs. Lorent Varga

We know what you’re doing right now. You’re looking at New York’s roster up and down … but you don’t see Mr. Varga. That’s because he’ll be the man in the middle with the whistle on Wednesday night. In the last 11 games played by New York, the man in Varga’s role has issued a red card to the Red Bulls’ opposition (or two, in the case of their fixture against Hartford Athletic).

This is no indictment of the New York roster – quite to the contrary, in fact. They are clearly doing things that are provoking the opposition and forcing them into frustrating situations, which Red Bulls II have been able to take advantage of time and time again in the last few months.

This is more a reminder for the Boys in Blue to keep their cool. After being pretty much downright gentlemanly all season, Indy Eleven racked up three yellow cards in Friday’s contest at Louisville. Granted, all of them were in the final 10 minutes, which mitigates some of the danger involved; and yes, it was a rivalry match that got the blood pumping a little extra. However, it will be imperative for a veteran team like the Eleven to not get drawn into the same type of situations that have gotten so many of the Red Bulls recent opponents behind the eight ball.

The way things have gone at home all season, playing smart and staying cool will be Indy’s recipe to keep New York within striking distance in the standings – and, at the very best, put Indiana’s Team in the driver’s seat in the East for the final two months of the season.

 

Indy Eleven will look to equal its longest home unbeaten streak in club history at 21 games this Wednesday, September 4, when Indiana’s Team returns to Lucas Oil Stadium for the pivotal contest against New York Red Bulls II. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET, and tickets remain available for as little as $15 at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.

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