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  • John "Mountain" Rice

Indy In The Cup

Indy Eleven was knocked out in the 3rd round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after a hard-fought battle away in Columbus. When Indy entered the Cup in the 2nd round, things looked a tad rough. After playing 3 matches in league play and coming having 5 points, things looked promising. 2nd round opponent was Michigan Stars (NISA.) The Stars came out swinging and took a late first half lead in front of a rowdy BYB. Indy playing at home, knew they had to fight their way back. The Mike would see smoke for the first time in the 2023 season in the 59th minute. No further action happened during the run of 90. 2 minutes into the first half AET (or overtime for those not familiar with soccer lingo,) the BYB would erupt with smoke once again. Now with a 2-1 lead, Indy kept battling to hold the lead. At 105 + 1, Indy would score again growing their lead to 3-1. The second half of AET wouldn't see any smoke, but it also didn't see any change to the scoreboard. Indy would win the match 3-1.

Indy would then enter the 3rd round draw in a group with Louisville City FC, FC Cincinnati, & Columbus Crew. Due to open cup structure, clubs of the same league can not play one another in the same round they enter. This is not a rule just for MLS clubs, this is a rule put into place for everyone. Following round 3, FCC and Columbus Crew would become eligible to play one another. However, due to this rule, we knew that Indy would either play FC Cincinnati or Columbus Crew. The question was, where? Columbus Crew was the first club drawn making them a home club. FC Cincinnati would be drawn next and claim the other home club. Indy got drawn next and was set to head to Columbus. Louisville by default (even though they still drew their envelope,) was heading to FC Cincinnati to revisit their old foe's.

Indy would walk into the new Crew stadium in front of only half of an opened stadium. Why only half? No one knows. Albeit the half that was open wasn't sold out, so that very well may have been the reasoning why. Yes, the match was on a Wednesday. Yes, the match was played almost 3 hours away from Indianapolis. Yes, folks from the Brickyard Battalion work during the week. However, that didn’t stop them from filling the 2 sections allotted to them. Also didn’t stop them from being in full voice for the 90 minutes. For most of the match, Indy was playing a lot of defense. Almost any attempt of an offensive threat for Indy was quickly squashed by the Crew. Indy only fired off 7 shots with only 3 of them being claimed on target (according to fotmob.) One thing Indy didn’t do that they have controlled during league play was possession. Columbus managed to come away with 65% of the possession. Another stat that Columbus dominated, shots inside the box (17.) If you look at the defensive stats, Indy dominated them. 13 tackles won, 19 interceptions, 7 blocks, 39 clearances, & 7 keeper saves. Indy keeper, Yannik Oettl ended up having the highest rating for the boys in blue and was only 0.16 behind the highest rated player of the match, Steven Moreira. Unfortunately for Yannik & our boys in blue, Columbus did find the back of the net late in the 83rd minute. This would be the only goal of the match. Despite Indy’s best efforts, the endless attack from Columbus was just too much. Being able to hold on & fight for 83 minutes was an impressive feat. Especially against an MLS side that has already played 9 league matches and are currently undefeated when playing at home in 2023.

So, what’s next for Indy? Indy plays at home against Pittsburgh this Saturday, April 29th, then heads out for 2 matches on the road. On the day of the Indianapolis Mini Marathon, our boys in blue will be out in Loudoun. The week after that, they head out to Sacramento. During such time, our Ladies In Blue will begin their 2023 USL W League campaign on May 10 away to St. Charles FC.



For any and all information on Indy Eleven, head on over to indyeleven.com

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