When last we left Loudoun United, they were facing the 4th place team in the East (North Carolina FC) who had just lost for the first time in more than two months. The ponies lost 3-0 and North Carolina moved into a tie for third with Indy Eleven, whom Loudoun faces tonight in the home of the Indianapolis Colts. Like North Carolina, Indy’s last game was a loss. Like North Carolina, it was their first time in two and a half months and Indy is looking forward to catching a young Loudoun squad napping en route to regaining their own form. And if their home is any indication, Indy should be heavily favored.
Key player: Orlando Sinclair
Sinclair was one of three early subs by Ryan Martin in the hopes of rotation, should I would presume he gets the nod at forward tonight over captain Kyle Murphy for that purpose. He is a decent chance creator though plays midfield more than Murphy, and his selection on runs for his teammates appears to be improving, and facing a team that is joint-lowest for fewest goals conceded in the league (12), making himself open for teammates and/or involving them to get forward more is going to be key.
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)
Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11: We saw Akeem Ward and Antonio Bustamante from D.C. United in Wednesday’s game and expect Earl Edwards Jr. to start tonight while the former two could be bench options, perhaps more Bustamante in a deeper role onfield, after all, he only played 54 minutes while Ward went 90. Carlos Alvarez should get a little more time tonight as well. Past that? We’ll see.
Starters: Edwards; Connor Presley, Collin Verfurth, Harri Hawkins, Jeremy Garay; Nelson Martinez, Bustamante; Theodore Ku-DiPietro, Alvarez, Christian Sorto; Sinclair
Bench: Calle Brown, Ward, Allexon Saravia, Jacob Greene, Moses Nyeman, John Murphy, Murphy
Key Indy player: Tyler Pasher
When Indy and Loudoun last played last month at Audi Field, Loudoun did well but ultimately could not hold on, conceding a game-winner in the 89th minute that gutted them in a 2-1 loss. Tonight they meet on Indy’s turf, where they have not lost since July 4, 2018(!) against the Ottawa Fury, going 10-0-7 in the regular season and playoffs and in the 9 games they’ve played at home this year, they’ve had clean sheets in 7. In the 5 games since playing Loudoun, they have allowed 3 goals, including 2 to Hartford in their home debut last week. Pasher scored the game-winner in the Loudoun game and has scored goals in his last two starts for Indy, and accounts for more than 25% of the team’s goal output right now. If there’s a guy to not let get free, he’s the one.
Referee: Matthew Corrigan
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click here and subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: Probably water? If not, some turmeric and ginger tea, it’s been a rough week for this guy with a cranky sciatic. Don’t get old, friends.
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