Monday, May 21, 2018

Test post

Zach Steinberger scored Indy's solitary goal against Bethlehem Steel in a 1-2 loss.

By: The Pitch Bitch (Rebecca Townsend) A disappointing week - with an early exit from the U.S. Open Cup, the only open, true test of soccer champions offered in this country - morphed into a disappointing weekend for Indy Eleven with a 1-2 home loss on Saturday to Bethlehem Steel. In post-game comments, Indy head coach Martin Rennie was ready to push the re-set button. His tired team was ready for a refreshment of minds, bodies, and spirits. He was the first to admit that the squad’s teamwork, passing and movement were off, that too many opportunities were given away because of rushed play. And, he said, he offered no excuses for himself or his team regardless of their recent grind of several games on the road with several talented players benched to injury. “The players are all here to play - to perform,” Rennie said, noting the hard truth that virtually every soccer player on the planet has faced before - that the evening’s match was not on. With three Steel players collapsed on the field in the 9th minute and one Indy player down, the theme of the night did appear to be 'collapse'. The Pitch Bitch noted several plays where Indy men were in the right places, attempting the right things and the hand of fate just would not allow them the sweet sound of ball caressing net. Nathan Lewis worked his butt off attempting crosses and shots from the flank …
Nathan Lewis working inside the 18 in the first half for Indy Eleven.

Kevin Venegas dished a gorgeous free kick for Justin Braun. The subsequent header just wasn’t on, it was inches off, into the post. A deadly goal of such caliber would have given the game an entirely different flavor. Instead, it was missed by an inch. Soccer is a cruel mistress. Total bummer. But champions don’t cry. They move on and keep salivating for deadly strikes, they keep working, keep hunting. “Goal scoring has so much to do with confidence,” Rennie said. “If you hammer the players, you’re not really building the confidence, which they need to have.” The game plan moving forward, the coach said, is to have the players clear their heads, recharge their bodies and get back to work. Because, after all, with one fewer game played than arch rivals and current USL table leader F.C. Cincinnati, Indy sits just six points behind. Good leaders keep perspective on such matters. Parting shots from the Pitch Bitch game notes (please beware these will include a sexual reference.): - Rushed play. What can we do about it? Look for time, space and your people. Think not just about speed, but change of pace. Remember, good soccer is like good sex: Sometimes we need to do it quick and dirty, capturing great effect in minimal time. This would be akin to a goal scored on a counter attack with minimal passing.

But so often, we need to enjoy the anticipation, we need more foreplay, we need to enjoy the movement, the control we achieve when we’re working together and running our opponents around the field in patterns predestined to expose their vulnerable underbellies. After watching one too many squandered passes, the actual bitch notes say, “Don’t force it. Find some rhythm. Settle into it like a good, long fuck.” The game notes end on a sour note of two Bethlehem shots forcing Fôn Williams into action. But just prior, in what for Pitch Bitch on-the-spot, short-hand game notes is trés élégant cursive longhand, “even when all else is shit, Brad’s ninja stuff is fun.”

Brad Ring was acknowledged and celebrated for 100 appearances and played a strong game.

So, here’s to you Brad Ring and your more than 100 games you’ve played for Indy Eleven - and all your games as an Indiana Hoosier! - plus your MLS years and every other game that made you the man you are today! Keep up the good, solid, tough, dependable play. It’s a treat to watch you work! Thank you for your service, sir!
Thoughts/Reactions from James Cormack...

It’s very difficult to put into words just how bad our performance was on Saturday. Having to play a game on Wednesday is no excuse when your opposition had to endure the same. As the game wore on our opponents could see we were lacking and they took advantage of it.

We have players missing and that does not help, but the problems we can see in the way the team plays did not just develop on Saturday night. Our lack of bite in the final third has been the cause of repeating discourse for many weeks now and it's not due to a lack of confidence in players. The issues are all over the park and it comes down to lack of quality delivery, creation, and our passing style. All the stats in the world do not point to an improvement if those shots taken or attempted are pitiful or a result of bad decision making.

Last Wednesday against Mississippi Brilla we played route one football. Jack McInerney spent a lot of the game having to wrestle for 50/50 balls in the air. On Saturday it was the same again but this time Justin Braun was the wrestler and again we played way too much long ball. When we did get the ball down and play it into the width the ball disappeared into a vacuum and never came back.

This was the assumed position for Justin Braun for most of the game. Guess where the ball is at.

I thought Nathan Lewis was poor in the Pittsburgh game but he took it to a whole other level in this match. There was just no end product whatsoever, whether he was playing on the right as in the first half or for a spell on the left in the second when he received the ball in the corners or took it there himself it either was poorly delivered in and lost or was sent skywards with woeful attempts at shooting. If we want to have someone on the field just to looks fast and dangerous we could sign Tony Kanaan, he’s in town, and he's Brazilian. I am sure Nathan can do much better, but a player has to be given the incentive to improve.

We rarely used the middle of the park behind the forward line to create opportunities, most times when we did it was long balls or short balls popped in the air for 50/50 challenges, I took over 1400 photos at the game and probably about 20% or more of them are Justin Braun having to wrestle in the air or on the ground for a ball. In contrast, if you look at Bethlehem and the way they played, Santiago Moar totally bossed the middle of the field in front of our back line, he was serviced well and he serviced his team around him well, he tore us apart. We need that in our play, we need a Santi Moar.

The boys do need some rest, but all other teams are playing pretty much the same amount of games. The style of football we are playing, and I use the word style loosely is not good and its getting worse. In matches where we have had a healthy roster to choose from you can see the same things. Our strong defensive play has been remarked upon but even on Saturday against Bethlehem, we looked shaky. Will a couple of days rest change the way we are set up and the way we play football? Time to reset everything and look to see how we can approach matches differently in order to win in this league. The problem isn't our strikers in my opinion.

If this is the way we want to set up and play for the season, we may make the playoffs, but we probably will get found out quickly in the first postseason match.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Poll Test

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