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PREVIEW | INDvND

By IndyEleven.com, 03/02/18, 5:00PM EST

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"Boys in Blue" gear up for third friendly in 10 days

PREVIEW:

Indy Eleven vs. Notre Dame - #INDvND

Start time: 2:30 p.m. @ Butler University


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Coming Together

Indy Eleven’s fitness and style of play have begun to take shape as the team enters into its third preseason friendly this Saturday. Coming up, the Eleven will take on Notre Dame Men’s Soccer at Butler University for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

Last time out, the “Boys in Blue” walked away victorious in a 2-0 shutout against 2x-USL Playoff contenders Swope Park Rangers. Indy Eleven forward Eugene Starikov nabbed the only two goals of the match in the opening and closing minutes of the first half. In the second half, Indy managed to hold the Rangers primarily in the midfield following wholesale changes to the home side’s lineup in the 60th minute. The Eleven now hold a 1W-0D-1L preseason record after winning their last match and falling 1-2 in the club’s first preseason friendly against FC Cincinnati.

This Saturday marks the first time Indy Eleven has faced off against Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” in the club’s five year history. In another series of firsts, Saturday also marks the first time Notre Dame’s squad has taken to the pitch after finishing its 2017 in a 0-1 loss to the University of Wisconsin’s Men’s Soccer team in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2017, the six-time Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Champions held a 11W-2D-7L record and scored 30 goals across all competitions, scoring an average of 1.5 goals per game. The collegiate team also made it to the ACC Semifinal before bowing out in a 1-2 loss to the University of Virginia.

Who to Watch, Indy Eleven edition: FW Eugene Starikov

“New in Blue” forward Eugene Starikov shone up front during the last preseason outing after scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over Swope Park Rangers. In the 5th minute, Indy XI was awarded a penalty after Indy striker Soony Saad was brought down deep in SPR’s box. After the match official pointed to the spot, Starikov stepped up with a slow, staggered approach, sending the Rangers’ keeper to the right and the ball into the lower left corner of the net. Starikov’s game-winning goal came in the dying minutes of the first half after several close calls from his teammates. In the 44th minute, Starikov netted his second goal when he headed down a free kick from Eleven defender Kevin Venegas.

In 2017, Starikov played over 1,300 minutes in 25 regular season appearances for his former club, New York Cosmos. In that time, Starikov scored 4 goals and a single assist for the NASL giants. Additionally, the Ukrainian forward tallied two goals and two assist in three matches during the Cosmos’ Dominican Republic preseason tour.

Match-up to Mark: DF Brad Rusin vs. DF Felicien Dumas 

It’ll be a battle of defenders on Saturday when Indy Eleven newcomer Brad Rusin goes head-to-head with Notre Dame defender Felicien Dumas.

Brad Rusin has been a key component in Indy’s backline in the last two friendlies. In both outings, Rusin has demonstrated his ability to take on attacking players one-on-one, as well as quickly moving the ball up the pitch on the counter. Before the move to Indy, Rusin showed his strong defensive abilities early in NASL’s Miami FC’s 2016 campaign. In seven appearances, Rusin tallied 15 clearances, 2 blocks, 12 interceptions, won 12 duels and tallied a single goal before his season ended early due to injury. Rusin didn’t participate in Miami’s 2017 season due to the injury he sustained in 2016.

2017 ACC All-Academic Team defender Felicien Dumas will take to the pitch this Saturday in his first appearance as a senior for the “Fighting Irish”. During his last campaign, Dumas tallied the team’s third most goals with three to his name. Additionally, Dumas collect a team-high 8 assist in 20 appearances. Prior to joining Notre Dame’s roster, Dumas enjoyed a successful youth career during his time at the United World College of South East Asia, which included: trialed with Premier League’s Newcastle United; offered professional contracts by Singapore S-League teams; and won several team and personal titles in the South East Asia Student Activity Conference (SEASAC) and the Athletic Conference of Singapore International Schools (ACSIS).

 

Don’t miss a second of the action this Saturday. Indy Eleven vs. Notre Dame will kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Butler University. The match is a non-ticketed event at an open facility. Come on out and support your “Boys in Blue”!

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