Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs. Toronto FC II - #INDvTOR
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – 7:00 P.M. EST
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Indy Eleven will face Toronto FC II for the second time in the 2018 USL season on August 23 at 7 p.m. inside Lucas Oil Stadium. The Week 14 matchup versus Toronto in Rochester, New York ended in Indy’s favor, as the “Boys in Blue” took three points in a 3-1 victory on the road.
Indy Eleven (10W-7L-6D) are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference after a 0-0 draw on the road against Ottawa Fury FC. Indy Eleven forward Soony Saad struck the crossbar in the 52nd minute followed by another attempt that rattled the post in the 76th minute. “Boys in Blue” goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams performed outstandingly throughout the 90 minutes. The Welshman made three crucial saves, one from point blank range from just outside the goal mouth in the 35th minute. The showing earned him his ninth clean sheet of the 2018 campaign. “New in Blue” forward Elliot Collier also looked strong in his first full match with “Indiana’s Team”. The forward created two chances, one of which led to Soony Saad striking the post.
Toronto FC II (2W-17L-3D) are currently at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with six points. Toronto fell at home to Bethlehem Steel FC, 2-0, in their Week 23 fixture. Goals from Steel FC’s Michee Ngalina and Aidan Apodaca sunk Toronto’s hopes of winning a third match at home in a row. The two victories at home are Toronto’s only wins of the season. Ayo Akinola leads the team in scoring with four goals. Toronto is on their best form so far in 2018, having won two games and lost three in their last five matches. Their two victories came against Nashville SC and Richmond Kickers.
The return home against Toronto FC II bodes well for Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie, as Toronto FC II has yet to win a match on the road having lost all 11 road fixtures in 2018. The visitors have given up 30 goals when playing away from home, and scored only 11.
It’s been nearly a week since Indy Eleven midfielder Ben Speas scored a cracker of a goal against North Carolina. The 27-year-old doesn’t find the back of the net often, but when he does, it’s usually at a crucial moment in the game when the “Boys in Blue” need him most. He’s only scored one other goal in 2018, but his leadership and experience in the midfield helps guide the team to success.
Speas’ knack for the spectacular may bode well for the attack minded midfielder against Toronto FC II. The former Columbus Crew midfielder managed only three minutes in the previous fixture, but with the rotating midfield and success with Speas, Eugene Starikov and Jack McInerney on the field together, Speas will most likely see more minutes this time around.
Toronto FC II Player to Watch | MF Luca Uccello
Toronto FC II midfielder Luca Uccello is the man who can be accredited with the team’s first victory. The 21-year-old midfielder scored the penalty that gave Toronto a 1-0 lead over Nashville SC. Toronto would go on to score again and secure a 2-0 win and three points. The penalty was his third goal in 20 appearance for Toronto this season.
On top of scoring three goals, he’s also managed to assist teammates twice. The Canadian born midfielder has moved the ball well through the midfield as well, averaging just above 80 percent passing accuracy. Indy Eleven will need to man the midfield well if they are to slow down Toronto’s Uccello.
The Indy Eleven offense has begun to tick at home. Forwards Eugene Starikov and Jack McInerney have scored six goals combined in the last seven matches. That can only mean good things as Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie’s side comes up against the team with the most conceded goals in the Eastern Conference.
In the last five matches at home, the “Boys in Blue” have found the back of the net eight times. The addition of those eight goals brings the tally to 17 goals at home for “Indiana’s Team” in the 2018 season. At the start of the season, scoring and winning at home was fairly difficult for Rennie’s side. Despite the 2W-3L start in their first five home matches of 2018, the “Boys in Blue” turned it around netting a 3W-1L-2D record and scoring 11 goals in the six game span. The addition of forward Elliot Collier, on loan from Chicago Fire, into the forward rotation only adds to the team’s scoring options and versatile forwards.
The “Boys in Blue” will be going up against a Toronto FC II defense that has yet to keep a clean sheet on the road. Thirty of the 49 goals conceded by Toronto FC II have been allowed on the road. The 49 goals conceded by the Canadian side is tied for the most conceded in the Eastern Conference and trails only Western Conference side Las Vegas Lights FC for most goals conceded in the USL.
While this may paint an optimistic picture for coach Rennie, the “Boys in Blue” must be weary not to be too confident going into the fixture. Toronto is in the best form of their 2018 USL campaign at the moment, allowing just six goals and recording their first two victories.
Grab your tickets to the Wednesday fixture at 7:00 p.m. for as low as $15 at IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.