Indy Eleven Match Preview | Indy Eleven at Louisville City FC
WEEK 31 | CLINCHED
The "Boys in Blue" face Louisville City FC for the third "Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest" in the final game of their inaugural 2018 USL season. The third fixture this season between the two sides determines where in the Eastern Conference Top Eight Indy Eleven will finish. A victory on the road will secure the fifth seed playoff position for "Indiana's Team".
Indy Eleven (13W-10L-10D) go into the final regular season game at fifth in the Eastern Conference with 49 points. "Indiana's Team" drew Bethlehem Steel FC in the last regular-season home fixture of 2018 in a 1-1 draw. An acrobatic chip from Indy Forward Eugene Starikov leveled the game at one and secured the point that helped clinch a playoff spot, courtesy of a North Carolina FC's defeat against Louisville Tuesday night. The goal was Starikov's sixth of the season. Head Coach Martin Rennie's side is back on the road for the final fixture, where they have struggled as of late. His side's recorded a 0W-3L-2D record in the last five road matches.
Louisville City FC (18W-6L-9D) hold on to second place in the Eastern Conference with 63 points after defeating North Carolina FC, 2-1, on Tuesday night. Late game heroics from leading goal Cameron Lancaster saw Louisville victorious. Lancaster netted a brace, scoring both of Louisville's goals and his 23rd and 24th of the season. The Englishman remains the front runner for the 2018 Golden Boot, as he currently leads by five. The side's joint assist leader, Forward Ilija Ilic, and Defender Paco Craig each assisted on Lancaster's goals. The 84th minute game winning goal brought Louisville's win streak to five. They've relied on their streaking offense to keep the wins coming, as they now lead the Eastern conference in scoring with 70 goals.
INDY ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH | DEFENDER AYOZE
One of the key members of Indy Eleven's squad this season, both offensively and defensively, has been Defender Ayoze. The Spaniard currently leads the "Boys in Blue's" assist chart with eight in 2018. The crucial impact Ayoze makes is in the variations of assists he produces.
The 32-year-old has produced multiple nearly full field, drop of a dime assists, lead through balls that split defenders and free runners, and played in assists with beautiful passes from dead ball scenarios. Additionally, he's netted four in 2018, one of which was a penalty that came against Louisville in Week Eight.
LOUISVILLE CITY FC PLAYER TO WATCH | MF OSCAR JIMENEZ
Versatility is a luxury not every professional player possesses. However, Louisville City FC Midfielder Oscar Jimenez is a player that does for the Kentucky based side. Jimenez is able to transition from his midfield role into a defensive position when LCFC Head Coach John Hackworth's back line needs rotating.
The 28-year-old is most potent from his midfield position though. He is currently the teams joint assist leader along with teammate Ilija Ilic. Jimenez has played 76 key passes, 10 of which have led to assists during his 2018 campaign. Indy will need to put a blanket over Jimenez if he takes up a midfield position in Saturday night's fixture.
MATCHUP TO MARK | INDY FW MCINERNEY VS LOUISVILLE FW LANCASTER
Indy Eleven Forward Jack McInerney and Louisville City FC Forward Cameron Lancaster are 2 of 13 players in the Eastern Conference to reach double digit goal numbers in 2018. In the final game of the 2018 USL regular season, the pair of forwards, who each lead their team in goal scoring, will face off for the third time this season.
McInerney had Louisville's number in the team's second meeting. The 26-year-old forward netted a brace against the side at Louisville Slugger Field. McInerney struggled to find the net at the start of the season, most likely the result of coming off a spell of not receiving much playing time. Though when the forward found his confidence as a "Boy in Blue", he found the back of the net regularly again.
McInerney has shown his versatility as a striker scoring with each foot, his head, and even his hip when he scored his first goal of the season in the squad's season opener against Richmond Kickers. Don't forget about his ability to strike a deadly set piece, as well.
McInerney's counterpart will be Lancaster come Saturday night. Lancaster comes into the match on a hot streak, as he's found the back of the net five times in his last five matches. Two of those goals came in the previous match against North Carolina FC, where he scored his 23rd and 24th goals. The brace was enough to land the Englishman as the single-season goal scoring record holder in the modern USL, with the chance to grow that number against Indy Eleven in his side's final regular season match of 2018. The 25-year-old forward has been most potent from inside the box, where he's scored 17 of his 24 goals.
Indy Eleven at Louisville City FC - #LOUvIND | #LIPAFC
Saturday, October 13, 2018 - 7:30 P.M. EST
Louisville Slugger Stadium - Louisville, Kentucky
Local/National TV: MyWNDY-23
Streaming Video: ESPN+ ($)
In-game updates: Follow @IndyElevenLive on Twitter
Official stats: USL Match Center
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