THREE POINTS!!! FINALLY! Seems like ages since we’ve been able to celebrate an Orange and blue victory. I speak for all of us when I say… it feels absolutely GOT DAMN AMAZIN’ to move up to 5th in the Eastern Conference table. Although we pummeled the Fury in the second half of last Saturday’s game, that winning feeling is fleeting, and the club has a huge task ahead of it this week. In order to sustain our spot as a contender for the USL Cup, we need to have two very strong showings.
We start week 8 of USL play against a very formidable opponent in the Indy Eleven. Our last match at Lucas Oil Stadium was a dogfight to say the least. The match was chopped full of hard challenges, constant runs and good looks for both sides. Indy’s roster is full of former MLS players, and when they can learn to play together at full pace, it will change the landscape of the USL’s Eastern Conference. This team is good and will likely be playing with a chip on their shoulder as they try to defend 3 points in this three game season series.
Last Weeks Match
When the final whistle sounded, the result was all but expected, a multi goal victory. Before the match, I was feeling a three goal win against the fury, but the first 67 minutes really bummed me out. The passing was atrocious, we couldn’t link up down the middle, and didn’t form a single shot on target until the closing minutes of the first half. Thank God we found the solution shortly after the 68’ when Kenney Walker decided he would do it himself. All my angry tweets were quickly deleted after that “Zlatanesque” Strike from THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN PITCH. Unbelievable that chance went in, but it’s exactly what we needed at that point of the game.
The last 20 minutes of the match resembled more of an NBA shoot around, with shots flinging from left, right and center at the Fury goal. Two of those strikes found the back of the net and put FCC in the driver seat to win the match. By chance you missed the Kenney Walker goal, you can view it below. On a side note, if this is your first time seeing this goal; you might also want to ditch the rock you live under for a decent two bedroom.
— I ? Cincinnati (@CincyProblems) April 28, 2018
Indy Eleven – Players To Watch
This team has extraordinary potential; most of the players in the starting VI have multiple years of MLS experience, which already puts most visiting teams at a disadvantage. We were able to stifle MLS Veteran, Jack McInerney in the first meeting, but I believe he will find the back of the net this time around. The key to this game will be shutting things down in the midfield. Just like the March meeting between these two clubs, possession will constantly be changing and goals will be hard to come by.
- Jack Mcinerney– the 2010 7th overall MLS SuperDraft pick has taken his talents to USL after a successful run in America’s top league. Collecting over 150 caps and scoring 41 goals in his time in the majors the striker has established himself as a substantial threat to score anywhere within the box. His ability to get on the end of passes played through the midfield was a thorn in our side during the first match. Look for McInerney to be the focus of chants echoed from the “Travelling Bailey.” I doubt our supporters have forgotten about the cheap shot that knocked out Kenney Walker.
- Karl Ouimette- the Canadian defender was the first academy signing for 2012 MLS expansion franchise Montreal Impact. He went on to make 20 appearances for the club from 2012-2014, spending quality minutes in the starting rotation. From 2015-2016, Karl appeared in 20 matches for the New York Red Bulls, before being sent out on loan and eventually signing with the San Francisco Deltas, the 2017 champions of the North American Soccer League (NASL). He will be force to reckon with as we attack the Indy goal.
- Soony Saad- another former MLS attacker, Saad played in a total of 70 matches for Sporting Kansas City, adding to the list of dangerous wingers in Indianapolis. Soony was able to net 8 chances in his Majors career, and has made sporadic appearances on the Lebanon Men’s National team, tallying 3 goals in 8 caps for his country. Saad will make an impact if featured in the starting VI for the Eleven.
- Ben Speas- Many #SavetheCrew supporters will recognize the name Ben Speas. He signed a homegrown contract before the 2012 season with the Crew and went on to play In 41 matches during a 4 year stint with the MLS Side. He went on to score two goals during that time, and played a season for the NASL version of Minnesota United, before joining Indy in 2017. Speas displays great pace and scored 4 goals for the Eleven last season.
- Ben Lundgaard- The 22 year old American Keeper, was the 21st pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. Currently on loan from Columbus Crew SC, Ben registered 23 clean sheets in 70 appearances during his time at Virginia Tech. As a new professional, literally signed 2 months ago to date, Ben could be an impact player in Indy. I’ll add my name to the long list of people that are interested in seeing what Lundgaard can do at a higher level.
- Justin Braun- an MLS veteran forward, who spent most of his time as an attacker for Chivas USA, has made his way to the Eleven after a two year stay with the Sacramento Republic of the USL’s Western Conference. After stints with MLS sides like: Montreal Impact, Real Salt Lake, and Toronto FC from 2012-2013; Braun exited the MLS with 131 caps and 26 goals. His USL numbers with Sacramento and Indianapolis are equally impressive, 84 appearances and 27 goals. Below is a replay of that one time he casually tallied a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls.
INDY ELEVEN (3-1-1; 7TH USL EAST)- With how the last game went between these two sides, I’m expecting a low scoring affair on Wednesday night. I think McInerney will get his goal, but I also think we’ll get one from one of our wingers or strikers to knot it up at some point. The interesting dynamic in this match will be the play of the midfielders. With two matches this week, we’re destined to see some tinkering in the lineup by Head Coach Alan Koch. What I’m hoping for is a starting nod for FC Cincy newcomer Michael Lahoud, who has an illustrious soccer career with 52 NASL and 112 MLS Caps. If he gets the nod this week, look for him to make an early impact and provide quality relief for guys like Kenney Walker and Richie Ryan. All in all this will be a hard fought match on enemy turf and I see this being a draw.