8/23/19  MLS Rivalry Weekend, EPL Liverpool vs Arsenal Sat 12:30 NBC, Indy 11 Home Sun 6 pm, Italy Season Starts

Italy becomes the last major European league to kick off their season this weekend as Juventus and Renaldo look to carry the baton for Italian teams into the Champions League season.  My favorite Goalkeeper Gigi Buffon has returned to his longtime home at Juve – this time as a backup – (yeah 3 weeks I give it till he startsJ).  Here is a quick Serie A Preview  here – but I look for Juventus to of course win the league – the battle will be for the Champions League spots among Napoli, Inter and AC Milan,  and more.  Of course all the games will be on ESPN+ with the occasional game on ESPN2 or News. 

Huge Congrats to US Keeper Zach Steffan who was Glorious in First Start in Germany he made no fewer than 10 saves in his first start for Dusseldorf – even stopping a sure goal from fellow US youngster Josh Sargent.  This week Steffan and Dussledorf travel to Bayer Levekusen at 9:30 am on FS1.  Later Sat US Dmid Mckinney will be in the spotlight at his Schalke travels to Bayern Munich Sat at 12:30 on Fox Sports 1 as Bayern looks to avenge their opening game tie.   US starlet Christian Pulisic will look to bounce back this weekend for Chelsea at 7:30 am on NBCSN vs Norwich, while Man U hosts Crystal Palace at 10 am and a solid top 6 matchup – as Liverpool hosts Arsenal at 12:30 pm on NBC.  Of course I will be keeping an eye on American players across the world as the seasons oversea’s get started.


The Playoff picture comes into focus this weekend as Rivalry Weekend kicks off with no fewer than 4 Championship Caliber Games on National TV this weekend.  Great piece on the Crazy fans in MLS as ESPN features some of the top MLS stadium experiences – that could rival many in Europe.  The fun starts Friday on ESPN with Orlando City looking to break their Atlanta United curse (8pm ET), followed by a Cascadia clash between Portland and Seattle (10 pm ET) with both teams looking to secure their playoff positions. Last but certainly not least, Hudson River Derby rivals New York Red Bulls and New York City FC clash Saturday in the Big Apple on ESPN 2 (7pm ET).  Finally and perhaps the BEST of them all is El Traffico between MLS best team LAFC with Vela and the LA Galaxy with Zlatan Ibrahimovich who has never lost to LAFC –  Sunday night at 10 pm on Fox Sports 1.  Hey you European Soccer Snobs – (you know who you are) do yourself a favor and tune in tonight or tomorrow or Sunday to MLS – you might find like me – that the overall play has really improved and the TV experience is truly magnificent at some of these new temples of Soccer in America.  Oh and if you haven’t seen this yet – Carlos Vela with a Magic goal – (with a proper Goal Call by an American!!)  Was the goal maybe the best ever in MLS history – the boys at MLS Soccer discuss.

Indy 11 @ Home Sun 6 pm

I had a chance to head out to the Indy 11 win last Sunday night a solid 2-1 win over new MLS to be team St. Louis.  The Boys in Blue (13W-4L-4D, 43 pts., 3rd in Eastern Conference) will return to USL Championship action Sunday night at 6 pm vs Charlotte Independence on Aug. 25 (“Red Out” Summer Celebration). Tickets for those 6:00 p.m. contests at Lucas Oil Stadium remain available for as little as $15 and can be purchased at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.  The games will be on MyIndyTV and ESPN+ as well.

Pack the House Night for #1 Ranked Carmel Carmel Girls Friday night 7 pm

Pack the House night is this Friday Night, 8/22 at Murray Stadium at Carmel High School as the CHS battle Guerin High.  Here’s a quick Season preview  ton’s of former Carmel FC girls on that squad – including All State GK Erin Baker.  Congrats to former Carmel FC Goalkeepers Gabe Moorman and Henry Giesel for making the boys varsity team – Moorman helped lead #24 ranked Carmel to a 1-1 tie with #15 ranked Noblesville last night.  If you would like to have your team be Ballgirls for the Defending State Champion Girls team please reach out to Tom Baker at Tom@embarkto.com.

CFC Goalkeeping Training with myself and Carmel FC GK Coach and Indy 11 GK Jordan Farr will be Monday at Badger 6-8 pm and Thursday at Shelbourne 6-8 pm.


Tues, Aug 27

3 pm TNT                                              Crevena Zvedzda vs Young Boys  UCL

8 pm ESPN+                                            Atlanta United vs Minn United (US Open Cup) 

Thurs, Aug 29

7 pm Fox Sports1                             USA Ladies vs Portugal

Fri, Aug 30

2:30 pm FS 2                                         MGladbach (Johnson) vs RB Leipzig

2:45 pm bEIN Sport                          PSG vs Metz

7 pm  My IndyTV/ESPN+                Louisville vs Indy 11

Sat, Aug 31

7:30 am NBCSN                                    Southhampton vs Man United

9:30 am FS1                                            Bayern Munich vs Mainz

9:30 am FS2                                            Schalke (McKinney) vs Hertha BSC

10 am NBCSN                                        Chelsea (Pulisic)  vs Sheffield United

11 am beIN sport                               Osasuana vs Barcelona

12 noon ESPN+                                     Parma vs Juventus

1 pm bein Sport                                  Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid

12:30 pm NBC                                      Burnley vs Liverpool

12:30 pm FS1                                        Union Berlin vs Dormund

2:45 pm ESPN+                                    Juve vs Napoli

3 pm beIN Sports                               France vs Spain (Ladies)

7;30 pm ESPN+                                    Dallas (Matt Hedges) vs Cincy

10:30 pm ESPN+                                 Portland vs Real Salt Lake

Sun, Sept 1

9 am NBCSN                                           Everton vs  Wolverhampton

9:30 m FS1                                              Werder Bremen vs Ausburg

11:30 am NBCSN                                 Arsenal vs Tottenham 

12 noon FS1                                           Frankfort vs Dusseldorf (Steffan)

3 pm beIN sport                                  Villarreal vs Real Madrid

3 pm ESPN News                                 Portland Thorns vs Chicago Red Stars 

6:30 pm FS1                                           Seattle vs LA Galaxy 

10:30 pm fS1                                        LAFC vs Minn United 

Tues, Sept 3

1 pm ESPN2                                       USA Ladies vs Portugal

WEds, Sept 4

7 pm  My IndyTV/ESPN+          Indy 11 vs NY Red Bulls2

Fri, Sept 6

2:45 pm ESPN+?                                  Germany vs Netherlands (Euro Qualifiying)

8:30 pm Fox Sports1                         USA vs Mexico

Sat, Sept 7

12noon ESPN+                                      England vs Bulgaria (Euro Qualifiying)

2:45 pm ESPN+?                                  France vs Albania (Euro Qualifiying)

2:45 pm ESPN+?                                  Serbia vs Portugal (Euro Qualifiying)

Indy 11 TV Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

NWSL. You can stream every game live on Yahoo Sports.

MLS – Rivalry Weekend

Best goal in MLS history? Inside Vela’s worldie

Wiebe: No need for hype, MLS rivalries are real

Doyle: STL, Rivalry Week & more in the mailbag

Seattle vs. Portland: History behind the rivalry


Robles: “No excuses” as RBNY run rivalry gauntlet

What a golazo! Matchday Central on Vela’s stunner

Wayne Rooney sent off early in Atlantic Cup

Meet the deadliest derby players in MLS history

Wondo: Breaking LD’s record brought me freedom

Warshaw: Why Montreal made their surprising change

Check out Nashville SC’s new stadium renderings

Soccer-MLS awards expansion franchise to St. Louis

What to know about soccer history in St. Louis

Twellman: MLS in St. Louis will “surprise” people

Actor McConaughey joins MLS expansion team Austin FC as part owner


US Players Playing on TV

US Keeper Zach Steffan was Glorious in First Start in Germany

Why Christian Pulisic chose Chelsea over Man United

Predicting the USMNT September call-ups

Adams expected to return to training with RB Leipzig in ‘two or three weeks’

USMNT’s Green flying high with new manager, new position


USWNT lawsuit goes to trial May 5

NC Courage gets to Final with Lyon in Women’s ICC Cup


Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks Joe Prince-Wright reveals his score predictions for the 10 PL games this week

Arsenal nowhere near good enough to challenge Man City and Liverpool for title – Parlour

Kroenke talks Arsenal transfer success despite no UCL


Why Juventus’s dominance isn’t a problem for Serie A

Serie A Preview – ESPNFC

Serie A 2019-20 preview: Juventus has strengthened, but so have their rivals

Messi ‘made me better player’, says Ronaldo


Most Valuable Keepers in the World Today (missing Buffon and Coach Jordan Farr)

US Keeper Zach Steffan was Glorious in First Start in Germany

Loris Saves Spurs vs Man City

Chelsea’s Kepa Great double Save vs Liverpool

USL Save of the Week

Great PK Saves

Manuel Neuer Training

NWSL Save of the Week Kailen Sheridan Sky Blue

Indy 11

Indy 11 Preview of Charlotte Game at Home Sunday

Indy 11 – 3 Things

Indy 11 – 2-1 over St Louis

Indy 11 Signs pair of South American Strikers

Flex 8 Pack Ticket is Back

Indy 11 TV Schedule

Full Schedule Released

Sat 9 am Soccer Talk with Greg Rakestraw on 1070 the Fan & 107.5 FM


Girls soccer: Carmel expects another competitive season


Soccer seasons don’t get much better than the one the Carmel girls team had last year. The Greyhounds had a brilliant campaign in 2018, finishing with a 20-1-2 record and the school’s 10th IHSAA state championship. Carmel won the Class 3A final in overtime 2-1, with Kelsie James scoring the winning goal.So what will 2019 bring for the ‘Hounds? It’s likely there will be more success, as Carmel has what coach Frank Dixon calls “a very experienced team” with 10 seniors and seven juniors. That includes seven starters from last season’s state championship team.The list of returners starts with James, now a senior, who was Carmel’s leading scorer last year with 11 goals and 10 assists. The defense will be experienced too, led by goalkeeper junior Erin Baker, who was named to the All-State team last season. Baker totaled 45 saves and only allowed four goals to the Greyhounds’ opponents during the entire season.Carmel will have the majority of its returners in the midfield, with three starters coming back: Seniors Cassidy Eckstein and Morgan Parker and junior Susie Soderstrom. The other two returners were defenders, senior Olivia Fray and junior Claire Bonnici.“We graduated the right side of our back four as well as our starting defensive midfielder so we will be working on defensive organization and communication to start the season,” said Dixon. “One of those defenders was the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year and she was very big in our attack so we will need to try to replace that production also.”That Player of the Year was Emily Speidel, now playing at Western Kentucky. Dixon said his team currently has five players who are verbally committed to continuing their soccer careers in college.
“With all the experience, I believe this team has the potential, if the players work as a team, to be very good,” said Dixon.
Carmel will begin its season Friday by hosting Guerin Catholic.“It should be another competitive year for the Greyhounds,” said Dixon.  Lots of former Carmel FC girls on this roster – including all-state Goalkeeper Erin Baker.

Seniors: Emma Antoine, Abby Dickerson, Cassidy Eckstein, Olivia Fray, Gracie Gilbert, Mia Glass, Kelsie James, Naomi Mann, Morgan Parker.
Juniors: Brooke Bailey, Erin Baker, Claire Bonnici, Carly Jessup, Olivia Johnson, Riley Pennington, Susie Soderstrom.
Sophomores: Lauren Bailey, Saliyah Brady, Emily Roper, Tamara Smith.


USMNT Aug 23-25 viewing guide and open thread

By jcksnftsn  Aug 23, 2019, 8:00am PDTPhoto by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

It’s rivalry week in the MLS and there are a number of regional match-ups throughout the weekend, including six on national TV. Add to that another seven nationally televised games being played across Europe and you have a weekend full of viewing options for people trying to find a glimpse of USMNT players in action with their club teams. Here’s what you can watch:


Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders – 10p on ESPN

Portland and Seattle face off late Friday in Portland in what seems sure to be an exciting match between Western Conference playoff contenders and pacific northwest rivals. It’s apparently Seattle’s turn to win as the teams have alternated victories their past five matches with Portland winning most recently in July.

Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan will see the field for Seattle who are coming off a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy while Jorge Villafana and Jeremy Ebobisse are likely to see time for a Portland team coming off a 2-0 loss to Atlanta.

Other Notes:


Fortuna Dusseldorf v Bayer Leverkusen – 9:30a on FS1

Zack Steffen will look to follow up his man of the match performance last weekend with Fortuna Dusseldorf when the team meets Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday morning. It was a fantastic start to the season for Steffen as his 10 saves led Dusseldorf to a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen in their season opener. Steffen will look to build on that this week when the team meets Bayer Leverkusen who are coming off a 3-2 win over SC Paderborn. Also joining Steffen will be Alfredo Morales who went 90’ in the teams opener last weekend.

Other Notes:

  • Christian Pulisic will look to rebound from a rough outing when Chelsea face Norwich Cityat 7:30a on NBCSN.
  • Fabian Johnson has been seeing regular minutes as a sub for a Borussia Monchengladbach team that has top four aspirations this season. They play Mainz 05 at 9:30a on FS2.
  • Weston McKennie and Schalke will need to create some offense if they’re going to keep up with Bayern Munich when the teams meet at 12:30p on FS1.
  • New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls meet at 7p on ESPN2. Keaton Parks has been seeing regular minutes for NYCFC, for the Red Bulls keep an eye on Aaron Long.


Hertha Berlin v Wolfsburg – Noon on FS1

John Brooks and Wolfsburg got their 2019-20 campaign off to a solid start last weekend with a 2-1 win over FC Koln and will look to build on that this weekend when they take on Hertha Berlin. Brooks had a nearly injury free season last year but was unfortunately injured towards the end of the season and forced to miss the Gold Cup. Thankfully Brooks is back to full health and looking ahead to another solid year in the Bundesliga.

Other Notes:

  • RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt meet at 9:30a on FS1. Tyler Adams is still 2-3 weeks from a return from his adductor injury but Timothy Chandler should be available for Eintracht Frankfurt though he has seen limited minutes for the club thus far this season.
  • DeAndre Yedlin also continues to recover from injury and will not be available when Newcastle meet Tottenham at 11:30a on NBCSN,
  • FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew meet at 6p on FS1 with Gyasi Zardes and Wil Trapp likely to see time for Columbus.
  • FC Dallas and the Huston Dynamo play at 8p on FS1. Paxton Pomykal leads the way for Dallas who’s youth movement also includes Brandon Servania, Edwin Cerrillo, Reggie Cannon, Jesse Gonzalez, and perhaps even Ricardo Pepi.
  • In the nightcap the Los Angeles Football Club and the Los Angeles Galaxy face off at 10:30p on FS1. Walker Zimmerman continues to lead the LAFC defense while Joe Corona will likely see time for the Galaxy.


Serie A Preview: Juve remain favourites, but Napoli, Inter poised to pounce if Sarri experiment backfires

12:57 PM ETTom WilliamsESPN.com writer

After a three-month hiatus, Serie A returns this Saturday, starting with Juventus at Parma, while every game in Italy’s top flight can be seen live in the United States on ESPN+ this season.On the eve of the 2019-20 campaign, there is hope for all 20 clubs and questions abound: Will Juve win a ninth consecutive Scudetto? Who will qualify for the Champions League? Can Mario Balotelli keep his hometown club Brescia from being relegated?Tom Williams is here to answer those questions and examine all of the calcio storylines to watch in 2019-20.

Serie A is still Juventus’ to lose

If Juventus fans will be closely scrutinising how their team adapts to life under new head coach Maurizio Sarri over the opening weeks of the new Serie A season, the same will be true for supporters of their expected title rivals, Napoli and Inter Milan.

Sarri, who might miss Saturday’s opening fixture against Parma after being diagnosed with pneumonia, was brought to Juventus to take the club to the next level. After eight successive Serie A titles, won by an average of more than nine points, mere domestic dominance will no longer suffice. The former Napoli coach is expected to inject panache into the somewhat perfunctory football that was Juve’s calling card under Massimiliano Allegri and end the club’s 23-year wait for a third Champions League crown.

It is no small order, but he has plenty of resources at his disposal. Juve saw off competition from various super clubs to sign centre-back starlet Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax and have bolstered their midfield with free transfers Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal and former PSG ace Adrien RabiotCristiano Ronaldo, last season’s Serie A Player of the Year, has had a full year to acclimate to life in Italy and is chasing a sixth Ballon d’Or. Although Juve must adapt to an unfamiliar coach, so too must Inter, AC Milan and Roma.

If everything clicks, the Scudetto will be Juve’s to lose. But if Sarri experiences any of the teething problems he encountered during his solitary season at Chelsea, where the fans never took to his vision or style, the chances of Italy crowning a first champion other than Juve since Allegri’s Milan took the spoils in 2011 will significantly increase.


Who can strike if Juve slip?

Runners-up last season, Napoli have enjoyed a more tranquil summer than their major rivals, with Carlo Ancelotti remaining at the helm and the club quietly conducting some impressive transfer business. Kostas Manolas, a €36 million capture from Roma, looks set to form what could become one of Europe’s most imposing centre-back partnerships alongside Kalidou Koulibaly, while Mexico winger Hirving Lozano will add dynamism and directness in attack — and soften the blow of losing to Arsenal for Nicolas Pepe.

Stream soccer on ESPN+: Serie A, MLS, Nations League, FA Cup and more (U.S. only)

Napoli failed to replicate 2017-18’s captivating title charge last season due to their inability to win the big games. They lost twice to Juve in the league, were eliminated by Milan in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals and crashed out of the Europa League against Arsenal, having previously failed to advance out of a Champions League group with PSG, Liverpool and Red Star Belgrade. But Ancelotti believes Napoli’s serene summer could give his side an edge.”Napoli will get to the start of the season quite tried and tested,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We don’t need to experiment in our play in order to become more fluent. That may give us a small advantage over our rivals, who have changed something.”If Napoli are banking on stability, an offseason of clear-minded evolution at Inter has left Nerazzurri supporters dreaming of a first league title since Jose Mourinho’s 2010 treble.Inter head into the new campaign with a management team that knows exactly what it takes to win the championship, after former Juve CEO Beppe Marotta brought in former Juve coach Antonio Conte to replace Luciano Spalletti. A born winner, Conte’s task is to infuse Inter with the kind of uncompromising mentality he instilled at Juve, where he won three Scudetti in a row, and with Chelsea, who stormed to the Premier League title in his first season in England.Conte’s preferred 3-5-2 system will benefit from intelligent additions in every department: the wily Diego Godin bolstering the defence, young Italy internationals Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella bringing craft and guile to midfield, and Romelu Lukaku, a €80 million acquisition from Manchester United, furnishing the new coach with the kind of battering ram striker he adores in attack. With Radja Nainggolan (loaned to Cagliari) and Ivan Perisic(loaned to Bayern Munich) gone and divisive former captain Mauro Icardi expected to follow, Inter will also hope to avoid some of the internal conflicts that hampered them in 2018-19.”I don’t have a magic wand, but it’s up to me to show the way, and it’ll be important for everyone to follow this path,” Conte said earlier this summer. “A spirit of sacrifice, ferocity, passion and a great desire to work hard will be required if we want to have a season where we’re one of the key players, as is our intention.”


The race for Champions League qualification

Conte’s return to his homeland maintains Serie A’s quota of tigerish former Italy midfielders, following Gennaro Gattuso’s departure from Milan in the wake of last season’s disappointing fifth-place finish. Former Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo will look to add some sparkle to the Rossoneri’s football, and with no European commitments to worry about, after Milan were excluded from the Europa League due to Financial Fair Play infringements, he will have plenty of time to hone his signature 4-3-1-2 system.Ismael Bennacer, signed from Empoli after starring in Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph, is an eye-catching acquisition in midfield, while young Portuguese forward Rafael Leao, bought from Lille for €35 million to replace the outgoing Patrick Cutrone (Wolves), will form a new-look strike partnership with Krzysztof Piatek, who hopes to put the curse of the Milan No. 9 shirt to bed after inheriting the jersey following his impressive start to life at San Siro last season.Sixth last term, Roma are looking to new head coach Paulo Fonseca and a youthful squad to find calmer waters after a turbulent few months in which the Giallorossi parted ways with a coach (Eusebio Di Francesco), a sporting director (Monchi) and two club legends in Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi. Simone Inzaghi remains in charge across town at Lazio, where last season’s Coppa Italia winners will attempt to improve on an eighth-place showing, despite modest dealings in the transfer window to date.Then there is last season’s surprise package, Atalanta, who were guided to a superb third-place finish by Gian Piero Gasperini. They must contend with the distraction of the first Champions League campaign in their 111-year history, which seems certain to take a toll on the squad over the first half of the season at least.

Other storylines to watch

The other clubs bidding to upset the established order include Sampdoria, where Di Francesco is now in charge, Walter Mazzarri’s water-tight Torino and Bologna, who are likely to benefit from widespread neutral support following head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic’s leukemia diagnosis. The former free-kick maestro, who steered Bologna to safety last season after arriving in January, has been watching training sessions and friendly matches from his hospital bed and delivering team talks via Skype.Brescia, promoted from Serie B alongside Lecce and Verona, have generated plenty of column inches following Mario Balotelli‘s decision to sign for his hometown club. The striker, who spent the second half of last season at Marseille, is motivated by the ambition of claiming a spot in Italy’s squad for Euro 2020, but national coach Roberto Mancini — who knows the 29-year-old better than most — has warned him to not expect any special treatment.”I love him, but I can’t do anything for him. He must remember that he’s in the prime of his career and that he still has so much to give,” Mancini told La Gazzetta. “It’s all about how much he wants it.”


By IndyEleven.com, 08/22/19, 5:45PM EDTShare bBoys In Blue Look to Continue Hot Form at Home in Second Match-up vs. Charlotte Independence

Sunday, August 25, 2019 – 6:00 P.M. ET  Lucas Oil Stadium  |  Indianapolis, IN       


Local/National TV: MyINDY-TV 23   Radio (Spanish): Exitos Radio 1590 AM


Indy Eleven: 13W-4L-4D, 43 pts., 5th in Eastern Conference

Charlotte Independence: 5W-10L-10D, 25 pts., 12th in Eastern Conference

Click here for the full USL Championship standings


Indy Eleven 3 : 2 Charlotte Independence | Friday, March 15

The Boys in Blue staved off two late goals at Charlotte Independence to secure a 3-2 victory in Week Two of USL Championship play. Goals from midfielders Macauley King and Tyler Gibson, in addition to a third from forward Thomas Enevoldsen, were enough to maintain the lead and begin a four-game winning streak.


Indy Eleven  2 : 1  Saint Louis FC  | Sunday, August 18

Indy Eleven’s relationship with late-game drama continued to burn bright after an 81st minute goal from forward Dane Kelly grabbed another three points last Sunday, lifting the undefeated run at Lucas Oil Stadium to 19 games. In-form midfielder Tyler Pasher scored the game’s opening goal, and his ninth of the season, in the 67th minute before Kelly doubled the lead. Forward Eugene Starikov also returned to the field for the first time since March 30, and new signee Drew Conner made his debut for Indy.

Charlotte Independence 1 : 3 Nashville SC  | Saturday, August 17

Charlotte Independence fell to Nashville on Saturday night after midfielder Enzo Martinez’s equalizer in the 23rd minute was nullified by a pair of second-half goals by Nashville’s Daniel Rios and Kharlton Belmar. The loss extends Charlotte’s winless streak to five (0W-3L-2D), with their last victory dating back to a 2-1 win over Saint Louis on July 13.


  • Indy Eleven has an all-time record of 2W-0L-1D against Charlotte Independence, scoring five goals and allowing three goals in the three meetings.
  • Indy has a chance to extend its 19-game home undefeated streak (12W-0L-7D) to 20 on Sunday, with the possibility of equaling the longest such streak in club history coming against the team, Charlotte Independence, it began against on July 7, 2018.
  • Indy Eleven remains undefeated through 11 games at home in 2019 (7W-0L-4D). The Boys in Blue have scored 12 goals while allowing just three,and have recorded eight clean sheets.
  • A victory on Sunday night could see the Boys in Blue jump as high as a three-way tie for second place in the Eastern Conference standings. Indy Eleven (43 pts.) enters the weekend with three games in hand on the Tampa Bay Rowdies (46) and a whopping four games on Nashville (45), North Carolina FC (46) and New York Red Bulls II (50).
  • Sunday night’s match will feature the two most prolific scorers in USL Championship history in Indy Eleven forward Dane Kelly (72 goals) and Charlotte Independence forward Jorge Herrera (71 goals). Kelly broke the tie for the title he held for most of this season with last weekend’s game-winner versus Saint Louis FC.
  • Indiana’s Team is level with Tampa Bay Rowdies for least goals conceded in the league, allowing just 16 goals in 21 games while recording a total of 10 clean sheets, which sees the side tied for third most across both USL Championship conferences.Charlotte’s Aaron Maund will return to Indiana after spending 2008-11 in the Hoosier state playing collegiately with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, in addition to spending one year with former USL Premier Development club Indiana Invaders in 2011. Goalkeeper Brandon Miller also spent the 2010 PDL season with the Invaders.
  • The Independence will also feature former Major League Soccer heavyweight Dominic Oduro, who made 346 MLS appearances during his 12-year career in first division American soccer.


When not on international duty, Neveal Hackshaw has been the man tasked with handling the left side of Head Coach Martin Rennie’s backline. The Trinidad & Tobago international has been Rennie’s go-to defender, playing every minute of the 17 starts he’s received in his first year with the team. He’s been a prolific defender since signing for the Boys in Blue, working in tandem with the likes of Paddy Barrett and Karl Ouimette to keep the opposing attack at bay.The 23-year-old’s transition from the midfield to the back third has also contributed to his excellent passing numbers. Hackshaw has completed 81% of his passes this season in addition to contributing two goals. He’ll be tasked with keeping forwards Jorge Herrera and Dominic Oduro quiet on the flanks against Charlotte on Sunday.


Enzo Martinez’s 23rd minute equalizer was Charlotte’s lone goal against Nashville SC in the previous loss to the Tennessean side. Normally though, the 2016 and 2017 All-League First Team member acts as the team’s creator rather than goal scorer.Martinez leads Charlotte with six assists through 23 appearances. The 28-year-old leads his side in chances created as well, supplying 44 scoring opportunities for his teammates, nearly 10 more than the next in line. The Boys in Blue back third will have to keep an eye on Martinez come Sunday, as he created two chances, one of which led to a goal, in their previous meeting.


Sunday night’s fixture will feature a marquee matchup between the USL Championship’s all-time leading goal scorer in Indy forward Dane Kelly and the runner up to the title in Charlotte’s Herrera.In his last time out, Kelly broke his 13-game goalless streak when he toe-tipped the winning goal past Saint Louis FC ‘keeper Tomas Gomez in the 81st minute. The goal was the Jamaican’s fifth of the season. putting him back atop the all-time goal scoring chart in league history with 72 regular season goals to his name. His pace and power in the final third make Kelly difficult for centerbacks to track and contain, as he showed against Saint Louis when he bodied off captain Sam Fink and applied the finishing touch to claim the full three points. Kelly has a bone to pick with Charlotte, after he hit the crossbar in the first meeting between the two sides.A goal for Herrera on Sunday night would bring the Columbian back on level terms with Kelly for most goals scored in all-time Championship play. The 38-year-old has netted six times in 2019, making him the side’s second highest goal scorer behind Oduro. In his last three games, he’s contributed to three goals, scoring one and assisting the other two. Herrera will look to keep in form going against the Boys in Blue, but may find it difficult as he failed to put a single shot on target the last time he faced Indiana’s Team.Indy Eleven will look to continue its climb up the Eastern Conference standings this Sunday, Aug. 25, when Indiana’s Team plays host to Charlotte Independence (5W-10L-10D, 25 pts., 12th in East). Kickoff for the team’s “Red Out Night” contest – for which fans are encouraged to wear their favorite red gear to Lucas Oil Stadium – is set for 6:00 p.m. (live on WISH-TV 8), and tickets remain available for as little as $15 at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.


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