Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven at New York Cosmos - #NYCvIND
Tuesday, July 4, 2017 – 7:30 P.M. EST
MCU Park – Brooklyn, New York
OUT FOR REVENGE
It’ll be a firework display unlike any other this Tuesday as “Indiana’s Team” returns to New York to settle some unfinished business. This match marks the first time Indy Eleven has faced off against the New York Cosmos since the latter walked away with the 2016 Championship Cup in their grasp, leaving Indy the runner-ups. Tensions remain high with two consecutive matches against the Empire State rivals five-daye day span.
The “Boys in Blue” enter Tuesday’s matchup with two consecutive wins under their belts. Last time out, it was Eleven’s striking partners Eamon Zayed and Justin Braun that paved the way to a 1-2 victory against North Carolina FC whilst on the road. Moreover, it was Indy’s goalkeeper Jon Busch’s Player of the Week performance that assured Indy’s win after blocking seven massive attempts from the opposition. A week prior to their first away win, Indy Eleven claimed their first home win of 2016 against NCFC. Goals from Braun and returning midfielder Ben Speas drove a steak into the heart of the visitors in their 2-0 win at “The Mike”. Additionally, the 2-0 score line wouldn’t have been possible without “Buschy” collecting another six saves on the night.
With two wins in hand, Indy Eleven carries on their “Fight for Three” in an effort to achieve a Top Four finish going into the fall season.
New York Cosmos return home after falling 2-1 on the road to the league leaders Miami
FC. An early goal from Cosmos’ leading scorer this season midfielder Emmanual Ledesma wasn’t enough to fend off advances from Miami’s Stefano Pinho and NASL leading scorer Vincenzo Rennella. With a 5W-5D-3L record in 2017, Cosmos sit just 7-points ahead of Indy. Two more consecutive wins from Indy against the Cosmos could see the “Boys in Blue” overtake the defending champs for 4th place by the end of the week.
In nine regular season contests, Indy retains a slight lead with a 2W-6D-1L record. Both teams remain undefeated against each other at each team’s home stadiums.
WHO TO WATCH INDY ELEVEN EDITION: FW EAMON ZAYED
After returning to the scoreboard once more, Indy XI striker Eamon Zayed’s hunger for more goals will keep his edge sharp going into Tuesday fixture. Last time out in North Carolina, “Indiana’s Team” had just landed an equalizer by way of striker Justin Braun in the 21st minute when Zayed sent Indy ahead just two minutes later. Following a chain of passes, Braun sent a world class through pass between NCFC defenders where Zayed sprinted to meet the ball. Thereafter, Za yed took a single touch to settle before sending the ball behind NCFC’s keeper Brian Sylvestre.
Zayed cemented his name into Indy Eleven’s legacy by landing two goals in Indy’s first win against the Cosmos. Following six draws against the Cosmos since Indy’s inaugural season, Zayed’s two goals in the first Spring contest of 2016 sealed Indy’s 2-1 landmark victory. That evening also marked Zayed’s first two goals and first win as a member of “Indiana’s Team”. A match with such meaning for Zayed can all but assure he will be walking onto the pitch with an extra edge.
WHO TO WATCH NEW YORK COSMOS EDITION: GK JIMMY MAUER
From his initial signing in 2013 to the present, goaltender Jimmy Mauer has become a staple within the Cosmos defensive plan. Mauer has played out of the last 91 out of the last 117 NASL matches since he first put pen to paper in 2013. Since then, Mauer has risen through the ranks as one of the most skilled keepers in the history of the team. In 2016, Mauer started every regular season match and made a total of 64 saves. Additionally, Mauer recorded the second most shutouts in NASL history (14) with an overall 0.81 goals against average. So far in 2017, Mauer has collected the second most saves in the league at 39 with Indy’s own Jon Busch trailing behind by a small margin.
Prior to joining the Cosmos, Mauer flourished from an impressive collegiate career at the University of South Carolina. The young keeper at the time started all 78 games in his four year stint and set the school’s second highest shutout record at 28. Following college, Mauer spend a season with Chilean Primera Division side Universidad de Concepcion before making his NASL debut with the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2011.
MATCH-UP TO MARK: MF BEN SPEAS VS. DF RYAN RICHTER
Sparks are sure to fly as Indy Eleven’s playmaker and midfielder Ben Speas meets Cosmos defender Ryan Richter for the first time this season.
Although this is his first matchup against the Cosmos for “Indiana’s Team”, Speas has faced the New York side prior. In his NASL debut season, Speas squared off against the Cosmos in three different fixtures during his stint with Minnisota United FC. Out of three matches in 2016, Speas and the Loons walked away with a single win in their first Spring matchup before dropping six points in the follow two. With Indy back in winning ways, Speas will be looking to create more chances to improve his and Indy’s record against the Cosmos.
Eleven’s Speas returned to scoring glory against in the first of two consecutive matches North Carolina FC. The former Columbus Crew member’s first goal back from injury put Indy up 2-0 in their first home win of 2017. Prior to Speas’ injury, the NASL veteran opened his “Boys in Blue” scoring account in his second appearance. On April 1st, in the ninth minute, Speas bested Puerto Rico FC keeper Trevor Spangenberg with chip high over the visitor’s head. Speas currently resides in a second place tie for creating the most chances across the league.
Richter, meanwhile, is in his second year with the Cosmos after making the switch from former NASL side Ottawa Fury FC at the end of the 2015 season to Bethlehem Steel FC before eventually being sold in September 2016. The 28-year-old defender started in five of six appearances last year including a full 120 minutes in The Championship Final. This year, Richter has started in 12 of 13 leagues appearances while scoring one goal and notching two assists.