Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs. Ottawa Fury FC - #INDvOTT
Wednesday, July 4, 2018 – 7 P.M. EST
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Indy Eleven look to continue secure three points at home against Ottawa Fury FC on July 4. The “Boys in Blue” will be attempting to up their five game unbeaten run to six against the Canadian side, who they will play for the first time since 2016.
In their previous match, Indy Eleven (7W-4L-4D) shared a point with Penn FC in a 1-1 draw, bringing Indy’s home record to 3W-3L-2D. Penn FC took the lead in the 51st minute after Penn FC forward Lucky Mkosana tucked home a penalty. Things went from bad to worse when defender Karl Ouimette received his second yellow card in the 76th minute, resulting in his sending off. As a result, Ouimette will miss the Ottawa fixture. Four minutes later, Indy Eleven forward Jack McInerney gave the fans something to cheer for as he leveled the score at one. In the 80th minute, McInerney tucked home a free kick from nearly 30 yards out into the bottom left corner of the net. The goal was his third of the season.
Ottawa Fury FC (5W-7L-3D) fell to FC Cincinnati 2-0 in their last outing on June 30. Cincinnati forward Danni Konig opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a header. Ottawa’s best chance came in the 59thminute of play when forward Carl Haworth made a cunning run into Cincinnati’s box. His right-footed effort was saved by Cincy keeper Evan Newton. “Blue and Orange” midfielder Nazmi Albadawi sealed the three points in stoppage time with a volley from just outside the 18-yard box. Leading goal scorers Kevin Oliveira and Adonijah Reid were unable to locate the back of the net despite Ottawa’s eight shots. The loss to Cincinnati sees Ottawa’s road record fall to 2W-5L-1D.
The “Boys in Blue” are seeking their sixth game in a row without a loss. The stellar run of form has helped the team remain in playoff contention and continue to rise the table.
“I think it’s positive for us to stay on an unbeaten run now for five games and look forward to the next one,” Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie said.
Indy Eleven midfielder and captain Matt Watson has been an integral part of head coach Martin Rennie’s starting XI during the 2018 campaign. It makes sense considering Watson’s history alongside Rennie. The two spent two years together during their time with Carolina Railhawks, where Watson’s relationship with Rennie grew. Where Rennie went, Watson wasn’t far behind as both made the move to Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps. After almost five years apart, the two are now together in Indianapolis.
Watson has proved his status as a leader among the side in the midfield. He’s performed well defensively only losing three tackles and racking up 22 interceptions, one of which led to his only goal. The Englishmen has also moved the ball well. He’s completed three fourths of his passes and recorded two assists. It will be up to Watson to martial the midfield against Ottawa on July 4.
Former “Boy in Blue” and current Ottawa Fury FC defender Colin Falvey leads Ottawa in almost every defensive statistics. Falvey, who spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with Indy Eleven, has started 11 out of15 matches for the Fury. In that span he’s recorded 52 clearances, 29 interceptions, and won just under 85 percent of his tackles. He also led the team to its first victory of the season, scoring in the 87th minute to defeat Penn FC 1-0.
In the last match against FC Cincinnati, the Irishmen wasn’t quite up to his usual par. He managed only four clearances in the 2-0 defeat on the road to the soon-to-be MLS side. The former Indy Eleven player will have to stop forwards Jack McInerney, who scored in his last outing, and Justin Braun if he is to help his team to another three points.
One of the main reasons the Indy Eleven has been successful defensively this campaign is defender Carlyle Mitchell. On July 4, Mitchell will be tasked with containing Ottawa Fury FC’s joint leading goal scorer Kevin Oliveira.
Mitchell has been a force in the Eleven backline, especially when paired with fellow defender Karl Ouimette, who will be suspended due to red card for the fixture. Mitchell has made 14 appearances for the “Boys in Blue”, all of which were starts. He leads Indy’s defense in most defensive categories with an impressive 85 clearances and 24 interceptions. His ability to head the ball has made him an offensive danger as well, as he scored from a corner in the 2-0 win over Atlanta United 2.
Mitchell will be paired up against Ottawa Fury FC forward Kevin Oliveira. The 22-year-old has started every match for the Fury this season. Oliveira has played as a goal poacher in 2018. All three of the goals he’s scored have come from inside the box this season. Mitchell, whose strong suit is clearing balls that come into the middle of the box, will need to close down Oliveira’s space in close proximity. The Republic of Cape Verde native was unable to find the back of the net against FC Cincinnati in their last match, putting his three shots off target and only creating one chance.
Mitchell will look to minimize Oliveira’s space and track the runs he makes into the box in order to slow him down. He may also take his usual approach and simply clear the ball away any time it comes near Oliveira.
Fans can get tickets to the midweek match-up, kicking off at 7:00, for 50 percent off by visiting IndyEleven.com/Military and using offer code "military18" or by calling (317)685-1100. After seeing the figurative fireworks on the pitch, stick around after the match to catch the various firework displays throughout Downtown Indianapolis.