Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven at FC Cincinnati  - #CINvIND
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – 7:30 P.M. EST
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio

Watch/Listen Live:
* Local/National TV: MyWNDY-23
* Streaming Video:  ESPN+

** Week 29 | Part Two – Cincinnati

Indy Eleven face FC Cincinnati for the third, and final time, in the 2018 USL
regular season. The previous two meetings between the sides resulted in “Boys in
Blue” defeats, as they aim to claim one final victory against their neighboring
state rivals in the three-game regular season series.

Indy Eleven (13W-9L-9D) rose to fifth in the Eastern Conference table, with 48
points, after defeating Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-0, Wednesday night. Defender Karl
Ouimette scored the game’s opening goal, and his third of the season, off a corner
kick played in by Ayoze, who recorded his seventh assist of the season. Forward
Elliot Collier scored the game’s second goal and the Chicago Fire loanee’s first as
a “Boy in Blue”.  Goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams recorded his 11th clean sheet in the
contest and his second in the last five matches. The victory is the first for the
“Boys in Blue” after falling in their previous two USL games.

FC Cincinnati (22W-3L-6D) remain at the top of the table after handling Richmond
Kickers in a 4-1 victory, making the MLS bound team the 2018 USL regular season
champions. Midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma scored a brace that brought him to third in
the Eastern Conference scoring chart with 16 goals this season. Cincinnati’s second
leading goal scorer, midfielder Nazmi Albadawi, found the back of the net as well,
bringing his total to 10 goals in 2018. Goalkeeper Evan Newton conceded his 16th
goal of the season, keeping him short of recording his ninth clean sheet. The win
improves Cincinnati’s win streak to nine games.

Indy head coach Martin Rennie will need a strong showing from his defense, as his
side goes up against the league leading goal scoring team in FC Cincinnati, who have
netted a total of 66 times in the 2018 campaign.

** Indy Eleven Player to Watch | MF Matt Watson

FC Cincinnati’s success has relied heavily on its midfielders. The team’s two
highest goal scorers are both midfielders, and much of the team’s success comes
through the midfield. It will be the responsibility of Indy Eleven midfielder, and
captain, Matt Watson to disrupt Cincinnati’s midfield in order for the “Boys in
Blue” to claim points.

Watson’s main strength is reading plays before they happen and making crucial
interceptions in the midfield springing counter attacking opportunities that lead to
goals. Only one other player on Indy Eleven, defender Karl Ouimette, outnumbers
Watson’s 45 interceptions, most of which come in the midfield as opposed to
Ouimette’s which come in the back third. In order to stop Cincinnati’s potent
midfield maestros, Watson will need to play a major factor in the middle third.

** FC Cincinnati Player to Watch | MF Emmanuel Ledesma

Arguably the Eastern Conference, and USL, MVP, FC Cincinnati midfielder Emmanuel
Ledesma is having the season of a lifetime. The midfielder leads the USL in assists
with 15, and is third in the Eastern Conference and tied for fourth in USL in goals
scored with 16. Ledesma’s dual threat of being able to score and set up a teammate
on any given day makes him arguably the most dangerous midfielder in the game.

Even more impressive is the wicked strikes that come off the midfielder’s left foot.
When given time and space, the 26-year-old Argentinian can unleash absolute stunners
just as he did in the team’s previous matchup against Richmond Kickers. Indy
goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams will need to be on his toes for every second that
Ledesma is on the pitch.

** Matchup to Mark | Indy Defense vs Cincinnati Offense

The previous two fixtures in 2018 between Indy Eleven and FC Cincinnati were both
tightly contested, dramatic affairs. The first meeting resulted in a 1-0 Cincinnati
win, and the second a 3-2 Cincinnati victory. With the playoff race in the East as
tight as it’s been all season, the “Boys in Blue”, who are five points off third
place, need three points against Cincinnati now more than ever.

In order to claim three points, “Indiana’s Team” will need to halt a FC Cincinnati
offense that is currently blazing. Cincinnati has scored the most goals in the
Eastern Conference and USL, finding the back of the net 66 times. Three players on
their squad, midfielders Ledesma and Albadawi and forward Danni Konig are in double
digits in goals scored in 2018, with 16, 10 and 10 respectively. Midfielder Corben
Bone trails the trio by one with nine goals this season. Even more remarkable for
the Cincinnati offense is the fact midfielder’s goal scoring tallies drastically
outweigh that of the side’s forwards. Cincinnati has been potent in front of net in
their last five matches, scoring 12 goals.

Rennie will need his backline and midfield to be ready. In the first two meetings,
Cincinnati racked up 24 shots combined, but were only able to put seven on target
and force Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams into three saves. The “Boys in Blue”
have kept 11 clean sheets in 2018, and conceded 37 times. Two of which have come in
the last five matches for “Indiana’s Team”, along with allowing five goals in the
five game stretch. That goal-per-game average nearly matches the total number of
goals conceded by Indy on the road, allowing 17 goals in 15 road games.