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  • Writer's pictureMichael Betz

The Great, the Good, and the Ugly

It was the week that all soccer fans dread. Three games, eight days. That was the schedule to end July for the Indy Eleven. Not only was it a 3 in 8 kind of week, it was 3 top of the table teams in 8 days. It was a home, away, away schedule for that week and the Boys in Blue saw every outcome they possibly could.

It started just a few hours after the Indy Eleven USL W league team was crowned 2023 champions in a 2-1 win. The USL sided Indy Eleven played host to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, a team that has since this game hired former a IXI player, Nicky Law, to be their interim head coach. Both teams were looking to get something big out of this game. The Rowdies were looking to get back to their winning ways, and the Eleven were looking to win their second home game of the season. After a very even and defensive match, the result would match that of their first meeting back in March, a draw. This was that once again feeling like a good match for the Boys in Blue, they went toe to toe with a top of the table team and held them to just empty shots. Indy would have some time to rest and get ready for the next stop of this "3 in 8" week. This was the good in the title.

The next stop would be against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, on Wednesday. This midweek match saw some new faces added to the lineup. This game was what every fan wanted to see. The Eleven were looking strong from the get go, but it all came together when Aodhan Quinn hit an absolute ROCKET from just beyond the center circle in what should be a "goal of the year" nomination. Just before the half a cross was sent in and finds the feet of a sliding Seba who puts in the second of Indy's goal making the score at the half 2-0 in favor of Indy. The second half kicks off and about midway through, Harrison Robledo scores his first goal with the team extending the lead to 3-0. Pittsburgh would pull a goal in the dying seconds of regulation but it was all over by that point. Indy would walk out of Pittsburgh with all three points and hand Pittsburgh their second straight 3-1 loss. Needless to say, this was the “great” mentioned in the title.

Now onto the ugly. The final stop on the “3 in 8” tour saw the final matchup of LIPAFC. Coming off of an amazing 3-1 finish, hopes were high as the team went down I-65 to battle the rival Louisville for the final time this season. And stop me if you have heard this before, but the team came out and had a majority of the possession, but gave up goals and couldn’t score any themselves. After what had been a long and painful 90 minutes on the wrong side of the river, the Indy Eleven ended the “3 in 8” campaign with a 2-0 loss to Louisville .

This shark week for the Boys in Blue continues to lead to so many questions. How and why does this team keep falling apart after looking so dangerous? How can this team beat teams like Charleston and Pittsburgh so soundly yet lose so poorly to others? Why does it feel this team is afraid to shoot from close range yet we have multiple long range goals? All these questions still don’t have answers and I don't think they will any time soon. The biggest issue still facing this IXI team is the inconsistent play, closely followed up by poor defensive performance and a lack of good shots towards goal. Will the team be able to turn things around in time to still be an actual talking point when it comes to the playoffs? With only 13 games left, there isn’t much time left. It all begins this Saturday as Indy will play host to Memphis 901 FC on Star Wars Night.

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