Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs. New York Red Bulls II - #INDvNY
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 – 7:00 P.M. EST
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
The “Boys in Blue” will go head to head with New York Red Bulls II for the first time since their 4-1 defeat in the Big Apple. Indy aims to avenge the worst loss they’ve suffered all season on September 5.
Indy Eleven (11W-7L-9D) remain at sixth in the Eastern Conference with 42 points after drawing with Richmond Kickers, 1-1. The draw is the team’s fourth in the last five games. The game’s two goals came in the first 15 minutes, with Richmond Kickers’ Raul Gonzalez opening the scoring for the visitors. The goal conceded is Owain Fon Williams’ 33rd goal allowed in 27 games. Nine minutes later, Indy Eleven midfielder Dylan Mares scored his second goal in four games with Indy Eleven since his return to the Circle City. Indy nearly claimed three points when forward Jack McInerney, the team’s leading scorer, struck the cross bar in the 85th minute. The victory could’ve pushed the “Boys in Blue” up to fifth, as the squad is level on points with Bethlehem Steel FC. A victory this weekend could push the team to fourth in the Eastern Conference.
New York Red Bulls II (10W-7L-10D) sit one spot and two points behind Indy Eleven in seventh in the Eastern Conference with 40 points. Red Bulls II earned three points in their previous fixture against Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0. The win is their first since downing Penn FC in a 2-1 victory on August 3. Red Bulls II midfielder Jared Stroud scored the game’s only goal, and his fifth of the season, in the ninth minute. Red Bulls II could’ve made it 2-0 after earning a penalty for a handball in Ottawa’s box, but Anatole Bertrand-Abang failed to convert from the spot. The goal was the team’s 59th of the season, keeping them as the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference. The home win was Red Bulls II’s 10th of the season, but the MLS2 side has yet to win a game on the road.
Midfielder Dylan Mares has made an immediate impact since returning to Indy Eleven on August 20. He’s scored two goals in four appearances with the “Boys in Blue” upon his return, one of which was the equalizer in the 1-1 draw versus Richmond Kickers. The goal was in typical Mares fashion as he tore down the left flank and cut in onto his strong right foot. The 26-year-old then struck a shot that snuck by Kickers keeper Trevor Spangenberg.
Mares also managed excellent passing numbers. The Zionsville, Indiana native averaged 85 percent passing accuracy throughout the game. Even more impressive was the numbers Mares put up in the opponent’s half, averaging 80 percent passing accuracy in the opposition’s space.
New York Red Bulls II midfielder Jared Stroud scored his fifth goal of the season in the 1-0 victory over Ottawa Fury FC in the team’s previous fixture. His goal secured Red Bulls II first victory in just over a month. His fifth goal also came in his 22nd appearance with the side in 2018.
In addition to scoring goals, Stroud also the leads the team in assists. He’s managed to assist teammates 10 times throughout the year. Creating chances for teammates appears to be the midfielder’s first strength, as he created three chances alone against Ottawa.
The last time Indy Eleven faced New York Red Bulls II came in Week 11. The “Boys in Blue” fell 4-1 as Red Bulls II forwards Amando Moreno and Brian White both found the back of the net.
The pair of forwards lead the team in scoring, with Moreno finding the back of the net nine times and White finding the back of the net eight times. The two have combined for nearly one-third of the team’s goals, scoring 17 of 59 team goals in 2018. The road scoring for Red Bulls II doesn’t favor the striking pair, as the New York side has only scored 15 of the team’s 59 goals on the road. The side has only scored two goals or more in a third of its away matches.
It will be up to Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams and the “Boys in Blue” back line to halt the forwards. Fon Williams has recorded nine clean sheets so far in 2018, with two coming at home. The back line has allowed 20 goals in Lucas Oil Stadium, averaging just over one goal conceded per game. Defenders Carlyle Mitchell and Karl Ouimette continue to lead the back line, leading the team in clearances, blocks, interceptions and tackles won. The return of Brazilian defender Reiner Ferreira has also boosted the team’s defensive efforts.
The 4-1 defeat to Red Bulls II can’t fall entirely on the defense, as the side was red carded shortly after falling behind 2-1. As a result, the “Boys in Blue” pushed forward in search of an equalizer with 10 men, exposing the defense and allowing Red Bulls II to create more opportunities. Expect Rennie’s side to be much more disciplined this time around, as a loss could push the “Boys in Blue” nearly out of playoff contention.
You won't want to miss this. Fans can get tickets to the midweek match, kicking off at 7:00 p.m., by visiting IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.