Preview | Indy Eleven Return to USL Championship Action in Rematch at Hartford Athletic
First 2019 Meeting:
Indy Eleven 1 : 0 Hartford Athletic | Saturday, March 30
In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, a 40th minute own goal off of Nikolaj Lyngo resulted in a home-opening win for the Boys in Blue, played in front of 20,251 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. The clean sheet by Evan Newton marked the first 90 minutes of what would eventually be a 465-minute shutout streak to start Indy's home campaign in 2019 (5+ games).
#INDvHFD: Highlights | Recap | Stats
Last Time Out:
Indy Eleven 1 : 1 Louisville City FC | Saturday, June 29
Indy Eleven claimed a point from the first of two 2019 Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (LIPAFC) matchups against the defending USL Cup champions. Midfielder Tyler Pasher scored the game's first goal in the 9th minute, notching his seventh of the season and fifth in the month of June. Louisville leveled the score in the 55th minute after Paolo DelPiccolo's Goal of the Week winning free kick found the back of Indy's net.
#INDvLOU: Highlights | Recap | Stats | Post-game Press Conference (VIDEO)
Hartford Athletic 1 : 4 Memphis 901 FC | Saturday, July 6
Hartford Athletic lost their second match in a row and 12th of the 2019 USL Championship season after falling to Memphis 901 FC, 4-1. The Connecticut based side fell by three goals for the second game in a row after falling to Birmingham Legion 0-3 at home the week prior. Midfielder Mads Jorgenson scored Hartford's only goal and his first of the season in the in the 30th minute, but it wasn't enough to fend off former Indy Eleven forward Elliot Collier's hat trick and substitute Lagos Kunga's 80th minute strike.
#MEMvHFD: Highlights | Recap | Stats
Indiana's Team will be looking to be rude housewarming guests this Saturday, when it will serve as Hartford Athletic's first opponent at the renovated Dillon Stadium, an 84-year-old venue that received a $13 million facelift by Athletic ownership group Hartford Sports Group.
With its 1-1 draw against Louisville the last time out, Indy Eleven extended its undefeated streak in USL Championship play to 10 matches (6W-0L-4D), which is tied with Ottawa for the second-longest such streak in USLC this season and three games behind Tampa Bay's season-starting 13-game undefeated run.
However, the LIPAFC stalemate also resulted in the end of the club's record-setting five-game win streak.
Indy Eleven is also looking to extend its unbeaten streak on the road to three games, as the side hasn't lost a match on the road since its 2-1 defeat to NYRB II on April 28. The only other away loss for the Boys in Blue - or any loss in league play, for that matter - came in the season opener on March 9 at St. Louis FC (1-2), which puts Indy's impressive away ledger at 5W-2L-0D.
Midfielder Tyler Pasher looks to continue his red-hot hot month of June into July. The Canadian scored five goals and recorded one assist in six games last month, resulting in a well-deserved place among the USL Championship's five Player of the Month nominees.
Indiana's Team hopes to continue its four-game winning streak against 2019 USL Championship newcomers on Saturday night, having claimed all 12 possible points against expansion sides this season: 1-0 vs. Hartford (March 9), 3-0 at Memphis 901 FC (June 8), 2-1 at Loudoun United FC (June 15), and 3-0 vs. Birmingham Legion (June 26).
Former Boy in Blue Wojciech Wojcik will face his former club for the second time in 2019. Wojcik made 22 appearances and scored two goals from 2015-16 with Indy.
Hartford forward Jose Angulo is no stranger to facing the Boys in Blue as he's made appearances against Indiana's Team with Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL), where he made 47 appearances and scored 11 goals.
Fellow Hartford forward Giuseppe Gentile is also familiar with the Boys in Blue, having squared up against the Indiana's Team every year since 2015 as a member of now six different NASL and USL Championship sides.
Indy Eleven Player to Watch | DF Mitchell Osmond
Osmond put up another stout defensive 90-minute shift against Louisville City FC last time out, tallying two tackles, two clearances and a game-high six interceptions against the back-to-back USL Cup champions.
Minutes came few and far between at the start of the season, but Osmond made the most of his recent six-match stint in the starting XI, which largely coincided with Neveal Hackshaw's national team duties with Trinidad & Tobago. In the last 540 minutes of regular season play, the 25-year-old has accumulated 16 tackles, 17 clearances and 15 interceptions. Additionally, the University of Rio Grande graduate has completed over 85 percent of his passes on the season, created two chances on goal and has put his single shot on frame. But perhaps the most important number regarding Osmond is 0.50 - that's the number of goals allowed per game with Osmond on the backline, the team conceding just thrice during his six June starts.
Hartford Athletic Player to Watch | MF Harry Swartz
Swartz has been potent in front of goal for Hartford Athletic during his 10 appearances for the club. The 23-year-old has scored three goals for Hartford throughout the month of June, leaving him tied with forward Jose Angulo as the team's leading goal scorer nearly halfway through the club's inaugural season.
The Massachusetts-born midfielder boasts an incredible conversion rate at 43 percent, scoring all of his goals within the first 30 minutes of the match. The objective will be to keep Swartz from finding space within Indy's penalty area, as the scorer has scored his trio of goals from inside the opposition's 18-yard box.
Matchup to Mark | Indy FW Thomas Enevoldsen vs Hartford Defense
If defense wins championships, then Hartford Athletic is in trouble. The club currently finds themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table, having conceded the most goals in the Eastern Conference and the second most across the league at 41. Hartford's defense has allowed 13 goals in their last five matches played, which can only spell good news for Indy Eleven forward Thomas Enevoldsen.
The Dane is tied with striking partner Dane Kelly for second most goals scored at four through Indy's first 16 games, but his impact isn't just felt from the back of the net - he's equally as adept at creating attacking danger as well. The 31-year-old has created the most goal scoring chances of anyone on Indy Eleven's roster with 37 key passes, tied for sixth most chances in the Eastern Conference. During the most recent three-game-in-seven-day stretch, the Danish striker accounted for two goals after scoring against Birmingham Legion (June 26) and assisting on Tyler Pasher's first-half goal against Louisville City FC (June 29). Enevoldsen and the rest of the Indy attacking corps will be chomping at the bit heading into the fixture against a porous Hartford defense.
Indy Eleven at Hartford Athletic
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 5:00 P.M. ET
Dillon Stadium | Hartford, CT
Local/National TV: N/A
Streamig Video: ESPN+ (click for a free 7-day trial)
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Honda
Setting the Table:
Indy Eleven: 10W-2L-4D, 34 pts., 2nd in Eastern Conference
Hartford Athletic: 2W-12L-4D, 10 pts., 18th in Eastern Conference
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