by Taylor Sorrels (@taylorsorrels)
WHO: Indy Eleven. Not nine. Not twelve. Eleven.
WHAT: Louisville City FC’s 3rd Round US Open Cup match.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium on the campus of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
WHY: Being ever mindful of the travel budgets that lower level soccer teams possess, US Soccer tries to make it easy on everyone by trying to match up teams in the same geographic region. Translation: we can expect to see Indy a lot in the US Open Cup since they’re the only NASL team within 400 miles of Louisville.
BROADCAST: Once again, no one foots the bill for this stuff, really, so you’ll have to either use your imagination or breathlessly follow @LouCityGameday’s tweets and the odd Periscope or Meerkat feed if you’re lucky.
WHO, AGAIN? Indy Eleven. You might think that they named the team that so they wouldn’t forget Law Number 3: “A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper.” And since they already shortened their city’s name from “Indianapolis” to “Indy”, you might also think that “Eleven” is short for “(not more than) Eleven (players).” Sadly, you’d be half right:
The unique Indy Eleven identity reflects the club’s fans’ desire to have a name tied both to the culture of “the beautiful game” and the State of Indiana, with the name referencing the 11 players giving their all on the field of play in addition to paying homage to the 11th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, which fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. The inspiration for the name came from Donna Schmink, the Collection Manager at the Indiana War Museum, who, when asked by team officials for ideas on a team name connected to Indiana history, suggested “the Eleventh” in honor of the regiment that valiantly fought under the initial direction of Colonel Lew Wallace.
“Screw those other regiments, we just want to honor the eleventh one!”,said Donna Schmink, maybe. Also, Indiana has a War Museum? TIL!
Anyway, about the team. From an on-the-field perspective, they’re not good. Off the field, though, they’re regularly at or near the top of the NASL in attendance, and have great atmosphere by all accounts. But thankfully, Elsie isn’t playing their fans, they’re playing INDY
Indy is presently at the bottom of the NASL’s spring season table with one win and six points in seven games played. They’ve scored five goals thus far on the season, and have given up nine. They’re on a string of three straight league losses since the beginning of May. Let’s just say the
Fourteen Eleven are adrift in the flat, flat Indiana cornscape at this point in the season.
A couple names you might recognize include Charlie Rugg, a former LA Galaxy SuperDraft pick, and Brad Ring, most recently of Portland Timbers FC. Sergio Pena is the club’s leading scorer with two goals. Kristian Nicht may or may not start, and may or may not be re-signed by Montreal Impact prior to the game. You just never know with that guy!
STATISTICAL COMPARISONS OF DUBIOUS VALIDITY: Believe it or not, NASL does a way worse job of keeping statistics than USL does, so this isn’t worth anyone’s time or attention. MOVING ON…
SO, ARE WE GONNA WIN? Probably! It would be nice! Hard to say, though. This will be Louisville City’s third road game in a week, and I’m guessing they spent a good chunk of Memorial Day in bed after a very late trip home from St. Louis.
Indy, on the other hand, last played away at Ottowa in a 1-0 loss, so they might not be feeling quite so fresh, either. Whatever it was that led to conceding three goals on Sunday night, I’m of the opinion those were correctable errors and the result of just a bad game from Scott Goodwin and a couple guys in the back four. It’s an aberration.
So, yeah. We’ll win. GO CITY.