Four Notes For Week Five

While second-rate bloggers are only providing you with three things to think about before match weekends, we here at Brew Wallace are putting in 133% effort and providing you with FOUR things to think about. Enjoy!

Formation Choices
Tim Hankinson surprised everyone with a 4-4-2 formation the last time the Boys In Blue ran out. It was a successful formation change as Indy controlled portions of the game and ultimately defeated the New York Cosmos on April 16. Part of the switch was designed to improve the team offensively and part was likely due to the player’s available – Hankinson’s “maestro” in the 4-2-3-1 formation, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, was unavailable due to injury. With much improved play in the midfield and in the final third the 4-4-2 was a unanimous success, at least for one week. After a bye week and the assumed return of Ubiparipovic and the addition of attacking winger Omar Gordon the Eleven it will be interesting to see what formation the Eleven start with in Oklahoma City. Caution and defense could be preferred in an away match, however if Indy wants to compete for the Spring title they must get victories. Based on how well the team played versus the Cosmos, I expect the Gaffer to send the Eleven out in a 4-4-2 against Rayo OKC in an attempt to take the game to the expansion Scissortails. Having two formations in which your team has different capabilities is a good dilemma to have as it makes the Eleven even tougher for opposition to develop game plans. Continue reading “Four Notes For Week Five”

Bye-Week Numerology: 18, 22, 0, 125, 22 & 24

22 and 18
Justin Braun leads Indy Eleven with 22 “Duels Won.” As defined by Opta, Duels are a “50-50 contest between two players of opposing sides in the match. For every Duel Won there is a corresponding Duel Lost depending on the outcome of the Duel.”

Braun also leads the team with 18 recoveries, which Opta defines as a player winning “back the ball when it has gone loose or where the ball has been played directly to him” by the opponent.

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Justin Braun in motion. // Indy Eleven, Trevor Ruzkowski.

These two stats are likely why Coach Tim Hankinson insists on the attacker always being on the field, to the dismay of some observers. Braun came into camp in the best shape of anyone on the roster – demonstrated by his victory in the infamous beep test the first week of training camp – and he has leveraged that fitness into a dynamo of offensive and defensive activity on the pitch. Hankinson frequently complains about a lack of player movement, but doesn’t likely have to get after Braun about that. While it doesn’t always have positive results, the athletic attacker is one of those player’s who constantly finds his way to the ball and has the motor to attack and pressure opponents for 90 minutes. Continue reading “Bye-Week Numerology: 18, 22, 0, 125, 22 & 24”

Eleven Match Ratings vs New York Cosmos

Match Ratings LogoNetting two goals in the final six minutes to drive an Indy Eleven defeat of the New York Cosmos earned Eamon Zayed the week 3 Brew Wallace Man of the Match. With this final (and most prestigious) recognition, Zayed has collected a “Grand Slam” of weekly awards, including the league’s NASL Player Of The Week, Team Of The Week and Play Of The Week, in the third round of the Spring Season.

Zayed received a match rating of 8.50, an aggregate score based on ratings from 20 fans of the beautiful game. Other Eleven players rated highly in the match versus the Cosmos include goalkeeper Jon Bush (7.40), forward Justin Braun (7.26) and midfielder Dylan Mares (7.26).

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Continue reading “Eleven Match Ratings vs New York Cosmos”