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Indiana's Team seeks revenge against Railhawks FC from August loss in Carolina


Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs Carolina Railhawks FC
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Carroll Stadium - Indianapolis, IN

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Team Records
Indy Eleven:​
  • ​Fall Season: 8W-4D-6L, 28 pts, 4th place
  • Combined Season: 12W-10D-6L, 46 pts., 3rd place
Carolina Railhawks FC: ​
  • Fall Season: 6W-5D-8L, 23 pts, 6th place
  • Combined Season: 10W-7D-12L, 37 pts, 7th place

Media Game Notes:
Down in the Sunshine State, Indy Eleven locked up a valuable road point against Jacksonville Armada FC in a nil-nil draw at Community First Park. Earning their ninth clean sheet, the "Boys in Blue" put up a staunch defensive effort that saw Eleven 'keeper Jon Busch make five saves over the course of the 90 minutes. 
In attack, Indy had six shots compared to Jacksonville's 11 total but got just as many solid looks on net as their opponents with the two equalling shot accuracy at 50%. Allowing Armada FC the majority of possession, Indiana's Team looked most dangerous when attacking on the counter through the speeed of Don Smart and Dylan Mares out wide, slipping in forward Justin Braun on a couple of occasions.
However, it was the excellent defensive play by a backline that consisted of Nemanja Vukovic, Colin Falvey, Lovel Palmer, and Marco Franco that really shined in the total team performance as Jacksonville saw a number of different opportunities fall by the wayside due to great defending. 
The draw is important as it allows Indy to reset after ten days off, and now leaves them steady in fourth place with just four games to play.

Carolina's last match ended in a 1-0 loss at home to Rayo OKC via a game-winning goal by left-footed defender Michel around ten minutes before full-time.
A relatively even game statistically, both Carolina and OKC had their fair share of opportunities in front of goal with each registering in the double-digits in shot count, but two first half chances for Railhawks' defender Simon Mensing and forward Billy Schuler went unconverted. On the other side of the ball, Michel tested Carolina 'netminder Brian Sylvestre inside the opening five minutes, but the latter produced a great save to keep the match level early on, and later attempts by Marvin Chavez and Derek Boateng were also denied.
The second half was equally as enticing for both teams, with Carolina seeing six attempts either saved or wriggled off target compared to four for the visiting side before Michel notted up the lone goal in the 82nd minute. A three-pass move that began with Billy Forbes ended with Michel taking on and beating Railhawks defender before beating Sylvestre from just to the right of the penalty spot, ultimately sealing the three points for a surging OKC.
The loss leaves Carolina in 6th place in the Fall Season and 7th in the Combined Season standings, but still with plenty to play for sitting just one point off fourth place Minnesota United FC. 

Keeping Their Shape
Injury concerns have plagued Indy Eleven recently, but the re-introduction of defender Greg Janicki has helped to shed light on a list of unavailable players that is dwindling at just the right time - much to the delight of head coach Tim Hankinson.
Two weeks ago against FC Edmonton, Indy lost defender Cory Miller to a season-ending injury which left them in a tight position, but defender Lovel Palmer stepped up to the task at centerback in Jacksonville and proved his ability to help command the backline. Regardless of who is alongside the captain Colin Falvey on Saturday, what is crucial is the trust coach Hankinson can place in his squad to carry on in a "next man up" type of mentality.
While the availability of a few members of Indiana's Team is unclear, what is clear is that Indy has a set of personnel capable of handling just about anything thrown at them - or at least they have shown as much at "The Mike" in 2016.

Who to Watch, Indy Eleven edition: DF Colin Falvey
Speaking of capable personnel, the skipper Colin Falvey has been as responsible as anyone on the team for the defensive success both at home and on the road this season. Conceding just two goals in their last three games at home, as well as registering two clean sheets in their last three times out in total - Falvey and co. have righted the ship after a period where they gave up seven goals in three games at the end of August.
Now they face Carolina, who need both wins and goals after following a 3-0 win over Fort Lauderdale with the 1-0 loss to Rayo OKC. Facing injury concerns of their own, it remains to be seen whether forward Omar Bravo will be inserted back into the line-up as the Fall Season begins to wind down, but nevertheless the Indy defense led by Falvey will need to stay on their toes.
Who to Watch, Carolina Railhawks FC edition: FW Matt Fondy 
Leading the team with six goals this season, forward Matt Fondy will be hoping he can continue success on the road as the Railhawks fly up to the Circle City. Scoring against Indy in the 3-2 home win in August, Fondy has only registered one goal since that time and is looking to find his form once more in this crucial part of the season.
One thing working in his favor, however, is the variety to which he can provide those goals. On 17 shots on target this season, Fondy has scored twice with his left foot, twice with his right, and twice with his head, showing the sort of goalscoring ability any team would want from it's No.9. 
However, with Indy's solid defensive record at Carroll Stadium recently, he will have his work cut out for him acting as the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1, if that formation is what Railhawks head coach Colin Clarke decides to stick with.
Match-up to Mark: MF Brad Ring vs. MF Nazmi Albadawi
Here we have an incredible midfield battle between Brad Ring and Nazmi Albadawi, two players with contrasting styles that will surely clash in the center of the park on Saturday night.
Ring, who worked his way back into the starting XI against Jacksonville on Wednesday, has acted well as a defensive midfielder and helped to stifle multiple attacks in the midweek 0-0 draw. Running endlessly to mark runs and track ball movement, Ring's strengths include his eye for seeing a play develop and his ability to stop the ball in its tracks ahead of a move, two things he will put to good use should he see the field again this weekend.
Meanwhile, Nazmi Albadawi continues to lead the NASL in assists (10) and poses a dangerous threat acting as the No.10 behind the forward of Carolina's choice. Like Fondy, though, Albadawi has recorded just one assist in his last eight matches despite the goals not drying up for his side, meaning his challenge to bypass both Ring and the Indy backline to create opportunities for the forward in front of him may require more creativity than usual.

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