Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs. Nashville SC - #INDvNSH
Saturday, March 2, 2019 – 3:00 P.M. EST
Arad McCutchan Stadium, University of Evansville – Evansville, IN
The fifth and final match of Indy Eleven’s 2019 preseason is here. The Boys in Blue will take on USL Championship Eastern Conference rivals Nashville SC on March 2 in Evansville, as each side looks to finish their preseason campaigns ahead of the start of the regular season.
Indy Eleven head south to play the final game of its 2019 preseason with a 1W-1D-2L record. The side fell to USL League One’s Lansing Ignite FC on February 27 in a 1-2 loss. Midfielder Tyler Pasher caused havoc down the wings all game long. Additionally, Pasher’s corner kick in the 68th minute found the head of newly signed defender Macauley “Macca” King, which found its way into the back of the net to level the score. Forward Dane Kelly looked ready to go as he scored off a beautiful chip late in the game, but the goal was disallowed as he was offside.
Nashville heads north to the southern tip of Indiana with a 3W-0D-2L record. The side defeated Lipscomb University 4-1 in their most recent preseason fixture. Nashville newcomers Cameron Lancaster and Daniel Rios both found the back of the net for the Tennessee side after subbing on late. Returning midfielder Lebo Meloto also found the back of the net in the friendly after spending most of the preseason rehabbing a knee injury. Nashville’s final test will come against an Indy Eleven side they lost twice to during the 2018 campaign and will face twice again in the 2019 USL Championship season.
Although the match is a preseason friendly, Rennie will aim for his squad to play as close to regular season form as possible.
“I think it’s obviously a preseason game, so you know there’s a lot of things we still want to work on,” Rennie said. “At the same time preseason has to be getting ready to get into the mood of a game and be ready to play and be ready to go for 90 minutes.”
The start of a new chapter began for forward Thomas Enevoldsen, as Indy Eleven officially announced his signing on January 29. The 31-year-old spent the 2018 season with Orange County SC, where he scored 20 goals and created 10 assists, earning a spot on the USL Championship All-League First Team. The 2018 USL Championship Golden Boot runner-up aims to emulate that success with the Boys in Blue.
Even more impressive is the fact the Danish striker scored all his goals without taking a single penalty. Coach Rennie will now be able to worry a little less about bulging the back of opponent’s nets with Enevoldsen leading his front line.
Nashville SC also made an impressive signing at the forward position during the offseason with the addition of Cameron Lancaster. The Englishman set the single-season goal scoring record in the USL during his 2018 campaign with Louisville City FC. He netted an impressive 26 goals, 25 in the regular season and a single goal during the team’s USL Cup-winning run, securing the 2018 Golden Boot award in the process.
Now, the 26-year-old has become Nashville’s second Major League Soccer player. The Tottenham Hotspur youth product has scored two preseason goals as he looks to get back into his dangerous regular season form.
In February of 2018, defender Karl Ouimette put pen to paper and officially signed with the Boys in Blue. He would go on to lead Indiana’s Team in nearly every defensive statistic. On Saturday, Ouimette, now in his second season with the club, will clash with Nashville SC’s first MLS signing in forward Daniel Rios.
Rios spent his first season abroad in 2018 on loan from CD Guadalajara, commonly known as Chivas, with North Carolina FC. The 24-year old made a name for himself in his first season stateside, scoring 20 goals in 31 appearances with North Carolina. That was enough to put Rios on the shortlist of players Nashville General Manager Mike Jacobs wanted to sign. As a result, Rios will spend the 2019 USL Championship season on loan with Nashville and officially be announced as a full-fledged Nashville player at the start of 2020.
Ouimette will be tasked with a tough outing come Saturday’s fixture. Not only will the Canadian have to stop Rios, the 2018 Golden Boot runner-up, but also Lancaster, as well. The 26-year-old’s experience in leading the back line will be crucial to success in 2019. With Rennie’s desire to possess a stifling defense, Ouimette will be imperative to creating and sustaining chemistry among the back third.
Indy Eleven's preseason finale against Nashville SC will take place at University of Evansville’s Arad McCutchan Stadium on Saturday, March 2 at 3:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. CT. Tickets to the match will be available the day of for $5 at the gate.