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PREVIEW | INDY ELEVEN HEADS TO SOUTH CAROLINA TO FACE CHARLESTON BATTERY

By IndyEleven.com, 09/06/19, 5:45PM EDT

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The Boys In Blue Continue Busy September Stretch in Second Week 27 Fixture

#CHSvIND Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven at Charleston Battery
Sunday, September 8, 2019 – 6:00 P.M. ET
MUSC Health Stadium  |  Charleston, SC 

 

Follow Live:

Local/National TV: N/A

Streaming Video: ESPN+ (click for a free 7-day trial)

Radio (Spanish): N/A

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

 

Setting the Table:

Indy Eleven: 15W-4L-5D, 50 pts., 3rd in Eastern Conference

Charleston Battery: 7W-7L-10D, 31 pts., 11th in Eastern Conference

Click here for the full USL Championship standings 

 

First 2019 Meeting:

Indy Eleven  1 : 0  Charleston Battery | Saturday, May 18

The Boys in Blue claimed three points in the first meeting with Charleston courtesy of midfielder Tyler Pasher’s late goal in the 84th minute. Goalkeeper Evan Newton’s fifth clean sheet of the season to that point also helped, a defensive performance that pushed Indy’s season-starting home shutout streak to 360 minutes.

 

#INDvCHS:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats 

 

 

Last Time Out:

Indy Eleven  1 : 0  New York Red Bulls II  |  Wednesday, September 4

Indy Eleven claimed a huge three points in a 1-0 victory over the current Eastern Conference leader. A late goal from forward Dane Kelly in the 83rd minute proved to be the difference maker, marking the Jamaican’s sixth of the season and 73rd in his historic USL Championship career. Newton also recorded his eighth clean sheet of the season as the Boys in Blue remained the side with the lowest goals conceded in the league (18).

 

#INDvNY:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats 

 

 

Charlotte Independence 0 : 0 Charleston Battery  |  Friday, August 30

Charleston claimed a point from their last match after a scoreless draw with Charlotte last weekend. The point is the first claimed in the last three matches for Charleston and fifth from their last five (1W-2L-2D). The clean sheet was Charleston’s fourth of the 2019 USL Championship season, but the first since May 11, snapping a 14-game streak in which the Battery had conceded at least once.

 

#CLTvCHS:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats

 

#CHSvIND Storylines

  • This weekend’s clash in Charleston has an added day of anticipation, with the affects of Hurricane Dorian in the “lowcountry” pushing Saturday evening’s scheduled contest at MUSC Health Stadium back at day to Sunday evening.
  • Indy Eleven’s all-time record against Charleston Battery 1W-1L-1D after both sides first met in 2018. The draw (3-3 in Indy) and loss (1-2 in Charleston) against the Battery came last season, with the victory coming earlier this year on May 18 (1-0).
  • Indy Eleven surpassed last season’s point haul (49) after defeating New York Red Bulls II 1-0 on Wednesday. A 15W-4L-5D record sees the Boys in Blue as sole possessors of third place in the Eastern Conference with 50 points, tailing second-place Nashville SC by one and Red Bulls II by three with three games in hand on both teams.
  • Speaking of the table, a victory over the weekend in addition to a loss from New York Red Bulls II and a draw or loss from Nashville SC would allow Indiana’s Team to pull even with New York atop the Eastern Conference on 53 points.
  • Defense continues to be the key to success in Indy. The team has allowed a league-low 18 goals while trailing only Western Conference side Phoenix Rising by one for the most clean sheets in the USL Championship with 11.
  • The Boys in Blue are riding a bit of a hot streak, going undefeated in its last five matches (4W-1D-0L) since falling to Nashville SC on July 27, and scoring nine goals and allowing four goals in that time.
  • Indy Eleven extended its home undefeated streak to 21 games after defeating New York on Wednesday, which is tied both for the club record in the category and the fourth such longest streak in USL Championship history. The current streak, which began last July 7, equals Indy’s run spanning the 2015-17 NASL seasons and the Rochester Rhinos’ USL streak from 2014-16.
  • Two current Boys in Blue used to wear the Black-and-Gold in “Chucktown” – defender Neveal Hackshaw and forward Dane Kelly. Hackshaw suited up for the Battery from 2016-18 and kept plenty busy, making 75 league appearances. Kelly began his record-breaking USL Championship in Charleston, scoring the first 21 of his league-leading 73 career regular season goals from 2011-15.

 

Indy Eleven Player to Watch | FW Dane Kelly

Wednesday night’s goal by Kelly marked the second time in the squad’s last four games in which the Jamaican striker registered a game-winner in the last 10 minutes. If you’ve seen the goals, you’ve also seen the emotions they’ve unleashed - both for Kelly and his teammates, who are overjoyed for a player who has been putting in the work all season but was snake-bit during a three-month goal drought.

With goals come confidence, and you can bet the USL Championship’s all-time goal king is chomping at the bit to regain his starting status. With a congested slate of games coming in the next month, he’ll indeed get those opportunities to shine once more, and he’ll be rested and ready to go as early as this weekend.

 

Charleston Battery Player to Watch | FW Zeiko Lewis

He didn’t score last match, but Charleston Forward Zeiko Lewis was able to test the goalkeeper one time and create two chances during the 78 minutes he played against Charlotte Independence on August 30. Lewis is currently Charleston’s leading goal scorer, netting six times in his 18 appearances for the South Carolina club.

The forward also acts as a creator for his side. In addition to leading the team in goals, the 25-year-old tops the Charleston charts for chances created with 27, three of which have turned into assist for the native of Bermuda. Keep an eye out for Lewis just behind the Charleston striker, as his natural and most creative position is when he’s able to play the number 10 role for the Battery.

 

Match-up to Mark | Indy GK Evan Newton vs Charleston GK

Charleston Battery are tasked this weekend with trying to break down the toughest defense in the league. Manning the very back of the back third is Indy Eleven goalkeeper and 2018 USL Championship Golden Glove winner Evan Newton, who is virtually even with last year’s league-best pace of 0.80 goals per game. Technically he’s at 0.808 GAA this season, with just 16 concessions and eight of his USL Championship career-best 46 clean sheets.  

Newton showed impressive reaction time in the last fixture against NYRBII, making a crucial save from a deflection just yards in front of him in the fifth minute of the match and a similar split-second shot against Tom Barlow in the second half. He went onto save 100% of the six shots he faced and nullified the two crosses that Red Bulls II played into the penalty area.

His counterpart comes in the form of Charleston goalkeeper Joe Kuzmisnky, who recorded his fourth clean sheet of the 2019 USL Championship in his last match against Charlotte Independence. Kuzminsky was forced into four saves against Charlotte, standing firm on his line and not allowing any errors leading to goals. That’s something he’ll aim to repeat this time around against Indy after making a critical error that led to a goal after Pasher’s shot from a difficult angle deflected off Kuzminsky for the game-winning goal in the first leg of 2019.

 

Indy Eleven (15W-4L-5D, 50 pts.) enters Sunday's showdown on a five-game undefeated streak and, pending results across the weekend, could pull even with New York Red Bulls II for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Fans can catch all the action live via ESPN+.

Indiana’s Team will return to Lucas Oil Stadium with a pair of games next week, starting with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Night next Wednesday, Sept. 11, against Ottawa Fury FC, followed by its annual Hispanic Heritage Night, presented by Financial Center First Credit Union, against Bethlehem Steel FC – which will be preceded by La Plaza’s annual Fiesta Celebration on Georgia Street throughout the afternoon. Kickoff for both contests is set for 7:00 p.m., and tickets remain available for as little as $15 at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.

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