So our Indy 11 remain undefeated to start with the best record in our history as USL leading scorer Tyler Pasher scored a stunner in the last seconds of a 1-0 win at top of the table foe Pittsburgh Wed night as a national TV audience saw on ESPN2. A fairly even game was played throughout with some fine saves by Eleven GK Evan Newton. But it was the stunner from Pasher as time expired that won the game to take the 11 to a league best 4-0 mark for the first time in club history. The Indy 11 travel to St. Louis this Sunday for a 5 pm game showing on ESPN+ and ESPN Desportes. The 11 Return Wednesday for 7 pm game vs Hartford at the Luke. Buy Tickets online.
Pulisic Dominates in 30 minutes in EPL
So Pulisic gave Chelsea manager Frank Lampard the ultimate screw you as he finally entered the game in the 58th minute –dribbled 4 Liverpool defenders then nutmegged Van Dyke as he sets up a tap in goal. The United States international then grabbed one of his own 12 minutes later, bringing the ball down on his chest with his back to goal before turning and thumping it home. Love Klopp’s reaction! For 30 minutes Pulisic was the best player on the field – including the Champions Liverpool players. For 30 minutes Pulisic was the best player in the EPL – you could argue since the break his 4 goals, 4 assists, and 3 penalty draws leading to goals has been the most impactful in the EPL since the return from break. This despite the fact he missed 1 the FA Cup Semi and over half of 2 other games with a slight injury. Obviously Pulisic WAS NOT TOO INJURED to play this game. Who knows what happens if Lampard is smart enough to start him. Assuming he will be starting Sunday as the Blues must Win or Tie Wolverhampton at home to Finish in the top 4 Champions League slot. If Chelsea lose and Man United beats Leicester City at Leicester– the Blue will also advance. If Chelsea lose and Man United and Leicester City tie – then those 2 teams advance and Chelsea pushes down to a Europa League spot.
EPL Final Day Sunday 11 am on NBC Networks
The final day of the EPL has plenty of excitement as Top 4 Champions League/Top 6 Europa League and of course Bottom 4 Relegation Battles will be decided on the final day of play across 5 NBC channels and Peacock free streaming. Of course the games of the day are Chelsea and Wolverhampton on USA Network at 11 am – as Chelsea needs a win or draw to stay top 4. Wolverhampton needs to outdo Tottenham so win or tie and have the Spurs lose or tie. NBC will host the battle for 4th – Man United travels to Leicester City needing a tie or win make it. Leicester needs a tie or win.
As for the Relegation battles – and honestly these games become almost life and death for a club. Staying in the EPL means over $150 million dollars difference for the club. When Dempsey scored for Fulham to help them stay in the EPL a few years back – it saved probably 50 jobs at the club – from the cooks, to the bottle washers, to the parking lot attendants to the ticket people, the boot washers, the assistant coaches and the players – many who would be forced to move for cuts in wages- the impact of staying in the EPL vs falling to the Championship is unbelievable. Unlike anything in US Sports – so its these games that honestly might give us more entertainment. Here’s the breakdown
Relegation – How teams can stay up
- Aston Villa: Better Watford’s result OR draw and Watford draw
- Watford: Better Aston Villa’s result
- Bournemouth: Win and both Aston Villa and Watford lose
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Challenge Cup final kicks off on Sunday at 12:30 pm on CBS between the upstart Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars a month after the league returned from the COVID-19 hiatus. The games on CBS All Access and replayed on CBS Sports Network have been a success but having powerhouses Portland and Sky Blue knocked off in the semi-finals was interesting – Chicago was in the finals last year. It will be interesting to see how many fans tune in – for this CBS televised game. I don’t hear much talk about the game by the mainstream sports media since baseball has returned and the NBA is soon. Non the less – flipping over from the excitement of the EPLs final games at 11 am on Sunday to a Women’s Final on CBS at 12:30 should not be difficult for the true soccer fans. Ladies be sure to tune in – higher numbers will hopefully mean more CBS network time for women’s and eventually Champions League men’s soccer on CBS.
MLS is Back
I have to admit the MLS is Back Tourney has been mighty high scoring with lots of goals scored in extra time. The Columbus Crew or Orlando look like the teams to beat out of the East – and surprisingly Cincy made the tourney while Atlanta is heading home. The Round of 16 Kicksoff is this weekend here’s with games at 8 or 9 and 10 or 11 on either ESPN or Fox Sports 1. Here’s a Quick Preview
Carmel High Soccer
Good luck to those girls playing this weekend in the CHS Girl Tourney Saturday at River Roads Fields and good luck with tryouts the first week of August. Same for the Boys on Tryouts in August.
July 27 – 30 – River Road Soccer Complex. Camp offered for boys and girls ages 8 – 14. 9:00 – 11:00 am. $95
GAMES ON TV
Sat, July 25
1:30 pm ESPN+ Genoa vs Inter
8 pm ESPN2 MLS Playoff Orlando FC vs Montreal
10:30 pm ESPN2 Philly Union vs New England Revs MLS Playoff
Sun July 26 – EPL Final Day/NWSL Finals
11 am USA Network Wolverhampton vs Chelsea (Pulisic) (Top 4 on line)
11 am NBC Leicester City vs Man United (Top 4 on line)
11 am CNBC Everton vs Bournemouth (Relegation)
11 am NBCSN West Ham United vs Aston Villa (Relegation)
11 am Peacock free Crystal Palace vs Tottenham
11 an Golf Channel Arsenal vs Watford (Relegation)
12:30 pm CBS NWSL Finals – Chicago Red Stars vs Houston Dash
5 pm ESPN+/Desp INDY 11 @ St Louis
8 pm FS1 Toronto FC vs NYCFC
11 pm FS1 Sporting KC vs Vancouver Whitecaps
Mon, July 27
9 pm FS1 San Jose vs Real Salt Lake –MLS Playoffs
11 pm FS1 Seattle Sounders vs LAFC
Tues, July 28
8 pm ESPN Columbus Crew vs MinN United -MLS Playoff
10 pm ESPN Cincy vs Portland Timbers – MLS Playoff
Wed, July 29
7 pm ESPN+myindytv INDY 11 vs Hartford Lucas Oil
Thus July 30
8 pm ESPN QF1 Lake -MLS Playoff
Fri, July 31
8 pm ESPN QF2 -MLS Playoff
Sat, Aug 1
1 pm ESPN?? Chelsea (Pulisic) vs Arsenal FA Cup Final
7 pm ESPN+myindytv INDY 11 vs Sporting KC – Lucas Oil
8 pm ESPN MLS Playoff QF3
10 pm FS1 MLS Playoff QF4
Sun, Aug 2 – Italy last Day
??? pm ESPN+ Atalanta vs Inter
??? pm ESPN+ Juve vs Roma
Wed, Aug 5
3 pm CBS All Access Man United vs LASK Europa League
3 pm CBS All Access Inter vs Getafe Europa League
8 pm ESPN2 MLS Semi-Final
Thurs, Aug 6
1 pm CBS All Access Leverkusen vs Rangers Europa League
3 pm CBS All Access Wolverhampton vs Olympiakos
8 pm ESPN2 MLS Semi-Final
10 pm FS1 Tijuana vs Tigres Liga MX
Fri Aug 7
3 pm FuboTV Man City vs Real Madrid (Champs League)
3 pm Fubo TV Juve vs Lyon (Champs League)
Sat Aug 8
3 pm Fubo TV Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (Pulisic) (Champs League)
3 pm Fubo TV Barcelona vs Napoli (Champs League)
Tues, Aug 11
8 pm ESPN MLS is Back Tourney Final
RECAP | Captain Paddy Barrett’s Second Half Stunner Sees Indy Eleven to 2-1 Win over Sporting Kansas City II
Is Pulisic Already the Best US Player Ever? – Doug McIntyre Yahoo Soccer
Dash take on Red Stars as NWSL caps first tournament back Sunday at 12:30 CBS
(Reuters) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Challenge Cup final kicks off on Sunday between the upstart Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars a month after the league returned from the COVID-19 hiatus, the first in North America to do so.A year since the U.S. national team won a fourth World Cup, Commissioner Lisa Baird said the goal was simple — to build on the momentum for the women’s sport on a tight timeline and show live sport can happen in the novel coronavirus era.”It was really hard to have this tournament be short,” Baird told reporters. “Four weeks is not a lot of time to win over not only avid soccer fans but casual fans. I think we accomplished that. We’re getting to that second level of casual fan — that’s what we need to do to be successful.”The announcement this week of a Los Angeles expansion team with owners including Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman, tennis champion Serena Williams and her husband, venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, added to the lustre.Putting on a month-long tournament during a pandemic, however, was anything but glamorous, with players living inside a quarantined bubble, playing on a single-site without fans in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah.”No one had done this, going into this, not us, the NBA, the NHL and the MLS,” said Baird, who added that if the league has the chance to get players back on the field once the tournament is over “we will be doing so.”That is not to say everyone was intimidated. Dash midfielder Shea Groom, who has scored two goals in the tournament, told Reuters she quickly hit her stride in the “bubble” environment.”For me this year — whether it was going to be a regular league season or the Challenge Cup — (the key) was consistency,” said Groom.”I’m not sure exactly what changed – maybe it’s the environment and just being surrounded by different players — but there’s definitely been a freedom for me, feeling like myself again.”After powering past the Portland Thorns in the semi-finals, the underdog Dash are ready to face the Red Stars, who are out for redemption after a demoralising 4-0 thrashing in last year’s NWSL championship final to North Carolina Courage.The Chicago team comes equipped with top talent including U.S. national team goal keeper Alyssa Naeher, who has made 18 saves during the tournament, and 2019 U.S. Soccer female player of the year Julie Ertz.The Dash take on the Red Stars in the NWSL Challenge Cup final on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET (1630 GMT).
Pulisic reacts to his stunning display v. Liverpool
Joe Prince-WrightNBC Sports•July 22, 2020
The reaction from Christian Pulisic said it all. Chelsea came so close to grabbing the point they needed to secure Champions League action as they lost 5-3 at Anfield on Wednesday.
[ MORE: Top 4 scenarios ]
They need a point on the final day of the season at home against Wolves to seal a Champions League spot.
[ MORE: Pulisic Watch – News, analysis ]
With Chelsea trailing 4-1 with 30 minutes to go, Pulisic jumped off the bench and had an amazing assist to set up fellow sub Tammy Abraham to make it 4-2, then missed a great chance as he dragged a shot wide and then scored a superb goal to make it 4-3.The USMNT star has been suffering with a small injury in recent days so was left out of the starting lineup but boy, did he have an impact when he came on.Here is what Pulisic had to say to our partners in the UK, Sky Sports.“We were very close, we got it within one goal and the momentum was really changing,” Pulisic said. “I thought we had them but obviously it is just that one counter attack and it changed real quick. We weren’t quite there. In the second half the subs coming in and making a difference and getting a quick goal, that changes things. You could see thy were on the back foot for a while but they withstood our pressure. We were very close. We needed the result today, unfortunately we couldn’t get it, but luckily it is still in our hands and we have one more game to go. We go next game and we win and we qualify for Champions League and that’s the goal.”The latest news on Pulisic is that he was simply sensational when he came on at Anfield and swung the game in Chelsea’s favor.This cameo underline how importance Pulisic is to Chelsea and heading into next season he may be one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League.
Chelsea praise ‘big player’ Christian Pulisic
Frank Lampard is starting to run out of superlatives for Christian Pulisic is the Pulisic news today.The Chelsea boss sent on Pulisic for the final 35 minutes with his side trailing 4-1, as Pulisic jumped off the bench and had an amazing assist to set up fellow sub Tammy Abraham to make it 4-2, then missed a great chance as he dragged a shot wide, then scored a superb goal to make it 4-3.That wonderful cameo helped Chelsea come incredibly close to grabbing the point they needed to secure Champions League action as they lost 5-3 at Anfield on Wednesday. They now need a draw on the final day of the season at home against Wolves to seal a Champions League spot.The USMNT star has been suffering with a small injury in recent days so he didn’t feature in their FA Cup semifinal at the weekend, and was left out of their starting lineup at Liverpool but boy, did he have an impact when he came on.After the game Lampard was asked how important Pulisic will be to his plans for next season.“Hugely important. He has had that impact. I was here for Eden’s first year and it is not easy coming to the Premier League, and for Eden in that first year it was adapting to the Premier League,” Lampard said. “Christian has had his moments of that but mid-season he had a really good patch and then since restart he has been in incredible form. Only the injury he picked up in the Norwich game has kept him out of the semifinal when he’s flying.“Against Liverpool he came on and played 40 minutes which is great for feeling confident about the injury and the qualities he has been showing. He is so young and he has such natural talent and he creates goals and scores goals. He is a big player for us so I’m delighted to see him come through fit. Clearly he will be a big player in these next few games for us and going forward as well.”Pulisic, 21, has now scored 10 goals and added five assists in his debut season at Chelsea and will start in the final game against Wolves, the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Aug. 1 and will do his very best to help Chelsea overcome a 3-0 deficit from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash against Bayern Munich.Along with N’Golo Kante, the USMNT player is the first name on the teamsheet for Chelsea.
Christian Pulisic Scores, Assists Off the Bench for Chelsea vs. Liverpool
AVI CREDITOR20 HOURS AGO SI
Christian Pulisic didn’t start in Chelsea’s vital match vs. Liverpool on Wednesday, but he certainly made an impact when given the chance.The U.S. international came off the bench and moments later delivered a highlight-reel assist to Tammy Abraham before scoring a sensational goal of his own, cutting into Chelsea’s deficit against the new Premier League champions in what was ultimately a 5-3 defeat.Chelsea trailed 4-1 before Pulisic came on, with Liverpool in fine form on the day it was due to receive the Premier League trophy. Pulisic, who used to play for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp when both were at Dortmund, entered as part of a triple substitution in the 59th minute, and two minutes later, the deficit was two.Pulisic weaved through Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold, nutmegged Joe Gomez to breeze by him and then curled his cross by Virgil van Dijk, finding Abraham for the simple close-range finish to make it 4-2.Pulisic missed a golden chance to make it 4-3 soon after, as he ran onto a long Reece James pass before scuffing his shot and pulling it wide, but he made good on his next chance. Receiving the ball in the box off his chest, Pulisic took three touches, setting up his shot, turning and firing by Alisson to bring Chelsea within one. With a win or a draw, Chelsea would have secured a place in the Champions League next season with a game to spare, but that wasn’t to be, as Liverpool scored on a clinical counterattack in the 84th minute through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to restore the two-goal edge.”I thought the momentum was really changing. I thought we had them,” Pulisic, who missed Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal win over Manchester United on Sunday with an apparent minor injury, told Sky Sports after the match.Instead, Chelsea enters Sunday’s season finale vs. Wolves in fourth place, tied on points with third-place Manchester United (significantly behind on goal differential) and a point ahead of fifth-place Leicester.For Pulisic, he now has four goals and four assists since the Premier League restart, proving himself to be one of Chelsea’s–and the league’s–top players over the last month. On the season, Pulisic has nine league goals.
Pulisic now has nine goals and four assists in under 1650 minutes of Premier League action. 4 Since the Restart with 3 Assists and 3 Penalties Drawn for PKs.
Christian Pulisic stats versus Liverpool (SofaScore)
6/6 passes w/ 1 key pass
3 shots, 1 on target
4/10 duels won
2 fouls, 1 foul drawn
Christian Pulisic is already the best male soccer player the USA has ever produced, and it’s OK to be excited about it
July 23, 2020, 12:05 PM
It stands to reason that when Christian Pulisic burst onto the international scene, an attacking phenom good enough to start games for Bundesliga titan Borussia Dortmund at 17, soccer types back in Pulisic’s native United States — and even a few fans — preached caution.“Look, nobody is more excited about this kid than I am,” Michael Bradley, then the captain of the U.S. men’s national team, pulled me aside to say in the spring of 2016 after I’d written that Pulisic should challenge for serious minutes during that summer’s Copa America Centenario. “But how many games has he played? Let’s not get carried away just yet.”A little more than four years later, it’s time to say with certainty and conviction what has become increasingly obvious, as Pulisic’s spectacular first season with English Premier League power Chelsea draws to a close: Pulisic, at the ripe old age of 21, is already the best American male to ever play the world’s most popular sport.This is where you point out that Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan were still producing for their country and clubs into their 30s. That both men retired with 57 international goals and well over 100 caps for the USMNT. That both scored in multiple World Cups. It’s a fair and valid argument.It’s also true that it will be years before Pulisic gets the opportunity to equal those accomplishments. And of course, there’s no guarantee he ever does. Every athlete in every sport is one unlucky injury away from the end. Pulisic’s slight (but quickly filling out) frame and desire to torch foes off the dribble makes him a magnet for rough play. And if there’s been any knock on Pulisic during his young career so far, it’s his tendency to miss matches because of muscle ailments.
Longevity and consistency do matter when crowning the king. By those measures, one could make a case for American goalkeepers Brad Friedel or Tim Howard, in addition to Dempsey and Donovan, as the best U.S. male player ever. Both enjoyed long spells as starters in the Prem. Both spent time wearing the No. 1 shirt with brand-name clubs.Still, the hardest thing to do in soccer is to score and create goals. And the way Pulisic has utterly dominated the world’s best league since it returned from its three-month coronavirus hiatus in June with his blistering pace, balance, control in tight spaces and all-important end-product is flat-out unprecedented among his countrymen.Pulisic has four goals and five assists in eight Premier League games since June 21. He’s scored or created a goal every 63 minutes he’s been on the field since Project Restart began. Add in his production from earlier in the season, when he was in and out of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s lineup as he adjusted to a new country, new team, and a new bruising style of play, and it’s 103 minutes per goal or assist. That’s a better rate of production than Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, Southampton’s Danny Ings or Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — the three leading scorers in the Prem — have managed during the 2019-20 campaign.It’s not just one good season, either. When Pulisic arrived in London last summer at 20 on a whopping $73 million transfer fee, almost four times the next-highest price paid for an American, he was a proven commodity. He’d put up 13 goals and 18 assists in 90 Bundesliga games.He has three goals — including a knockout-stage game-winner — and five assists in 26 career Champions League matches. His 14 goals in 34 games at the international level gives him a better strike ratio for the U.S. than Dempsey, Donovan or Jozy Altidore.
Should Pulisic’s age and lack of World Cup experience be held against him in the GOAT conversation? (The latter is no fault of his own; as a teenager, he was easily the USMNT’s best player during the failed 2018 qualifying cycle.) Does the lack of fans in the stadiums over the last five weeks take away from performances that seem to be getting better with each passing game? Should we wait a few more years before anointing him the best?
Maybe. This is subjective exercise, after all. And given the way American soccer history is littered with cautionary tales of prospects destroyed by premature and/or unrealistic hype (Freddy Adu), or who saw their once-ascendent careers at the top level derailed when their bodies failed them (Stuart Holden, John O’Brien), the desire for patience and perspective is understandable.“We have the tendency, and myself as well, to get ahead of ourselves,” USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter admitted on a conference all with reporters Tuesday, a day before Pulisic became the first U.S. player to score against Liverpool at Anfield. (He also collected an assist in the Blues’ 5-3 loss to the champions.) “If we would’ve made final judgment on Christian in the fall, we would’ve said, ‘Well, he’s not performing well.’ And now, all of a sudden, seven months later, we’re saying it’s the best signing ever.”Berhalter’s point is well taken, as Bradley’s was all those years ago. But it’s becoming impossible to ignore the fact that Pulisic is blossoming into a bona fide superstar before our very eyes. No American attacker before him has established himself as a key cog with one of the world’s truly elite teams, let alone its most dangerous player. On those cutthroat European proving grounds is where global reputations are forged.Christian Pulisic is next level already, and he’s only going to get better from here. It’s OK to be excited about it. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Premier League scenarios: Relegation, Top 4, Europa League, tiebreaker rules
relegation, top 4 and Europa League scenarios and remind ourselves of the Premier League tiebreaker rules as the business end of the season is here.
[ MORE: Final day PL TV schedule ]
Strap in, folks, and get your calculators out and keep this page open as it will come in very handy in the final week of the season with things about to get wild.
Below we take a look at the latest scenarios for relegation, Europa League and the top 4, as there are many permutations which could play out during the final 90 minutes of the season.
Plenty could still be decided on the final day of the season.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
Here’s a look at what needs to happen for relegation, Europa League and top four spots to be confirmed, while a look at the tiebreaker rules already has us imagining the madness of Watford, Bournemouth and Aston Villa all being tied on points, goal difference and goals scored when the final whistle arrives.
PREMIER LEAGUE TOP 4 SCENARIOS
- Chelsea would clinch top-4 with:
- Win/draw v. Wolves
- Loss v. Wolves AND Manchester United win at Leicester
- Manchester United would clinch top-4 with:
- Win/draw at Leicester
- Chelsea loss v. Wolves*
*Scenario assumes MU maintain GD advantage over Chelsea (MU: +28 / CHE: +13)
- Leicester would clinch top-4 with:
- Win v. Manchester United
- Draw v. Manchester United AND Chelsea loss v. Wolves
EUROPA LEAGUE SCENARIOS
- Wolves would clinch top-6 finish if:
- They better or equal Tottenham’s result
- Tottenham would clinch top-6 finish if:
- They better Wolves’ results
And 7th would qualify for Europa League if Chelsea win the FA Cup.
In terms of tiebreakers, here is the order and format in which league position will be sorted by if teams finish level on points:
- Goal difference
- Goals scored
- Points won in head-to-head meetings
- Away goals in head-to-head meetings
If the teams still can’t be separated after the above tiebreakers, a playoff will be arranged (at a neutral ground with the format, timing and venue determined by the Premier League Board).
|West Ham United||37||10||8||19||48||61||-13||6-3-9||4-5-10||38|
Relegation – How teams can stay up
- Aston Villa: Better Watford’s result OR draw and Watford draw
- Watford: Better Aston Villa’s result
- Bournemouth: Win and both Aston Villa and Watford lose
last match: 11 am ET Sunday at West Ham
Villa needs a little bit more than a win or hoping Watford falls at Arsenal.
How could Villa go down with a win? If Watford beats Arsenal by at least two more goals than Villa defeats West Ham, it will climb over the Villans.
Similarly, if Bournemouth draws or loses, and both Villa and Watford lose, Villa could go down if it loses to West Ham by at least two more goals than Watford loses to Arsenal.
If both Villa and Watford draw, Villa stays up.
If Villa draws and Watford loses, Villa stays up regardless of what Bournemouth does at Everton.
last match: 11 am ET Sunday at Arsenal
A win over the Gunners would be enough if Villa loses.
A draw would be enough if West Ham beats Aston Villa.
Watford could even stay up with a loss if Bournemouth draws or loses and Villa loses to West Ham by two more goals than the Hornets loses to Arsenal.
last match: 11 am ET Sunday at Everton
The Cherries need to win at Everton. Anything less and they’re down.
If Eddie Howe’s men take down the Toffees, they also need Watford and Villa to lose.
RECAP | LAST-GASP PASHER GOAL KEEPS ELEVEN PERFECT
By Indy Eleven Communications, 07/22/20, 9:45PM EDT
Tyler Pasher’s Last Gasp Strike Keeps Eleven Perfect via 1-0 Win at Pittsburgh
Red-hot Striker Tallies in Sixth Straight Game, Pushing Indy to Spotless 4-0-0 Record to Start 2020 Season
PITTSBURGH (Wednesday, July 22, 2020) – It appeared that Indy Eleven would settle for a share of points from its highly-anticipated contest at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – until striker Tyler Pasher rewrote the script with a dramatic strike from distance at the death that gave Indiana’s Team a 1-0 triumph at Highmark Stadium.With the win, Indy Eleven (4W-0L-0D. 12 pts.), not only maintained its spotless record to start the 2020 USL Championship campaign, it snapped Pittsburgh’s (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts.) 25-game home undefeated streak in regular season play, the fourth-longest stretch in league history (behind Indy’s current 27-game streak that is third in USLC annals).
“I think it was a great performance for us tonight. Again, you got to see our fitness and resiliency, and I thought we controlled large parts of the game, especially considering we were away from home against a team that had not lost a game at home in at least two years,” said Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “It was a difficult game in the sense of it’s quite a tight field, there’s lots of contact and not a lot of opportunity just to relax and play. So given what we were faced with I thought our players executed perfectly.”
Pasher’s fifth goal of 2020 extended his lead atop the 35-team USL Championship’s Golden Boot scoring chart and improved his scoring streak to six consecutive games when accounting for Indy Eleven’s run in the 2019 postseason. With the tally, Pasher also became the first player in Eleven history to score in four straight regular season contests.“Those are the moments that are just really, really fun to be a part of,” Rennie continued. “When you are on a team or part of a staff and you see a goal that, in that minute, against obviously a very good team, it’s probably a highlight moment for Indy Eleven as a franchise. Tyler’s got the ability to do that, so it’s great to see him come through.”In what could be classified as a tight contest throughout, the first danger presented itself after 10 minutes when Pittsburgh forward Ropapa Mensah saw two crosses from the right flank go wanting, the first a foot too heavy for Kenardo Forbes’ far-post run and the second forcing a lunging stab by Ryan James that missed left of frame.
On the 15th minute, Pittsburgh defender Skylar Thomas continued the home team’s offensive flurry, his header from 10 yards out off a corner flashing just wide left as well. Looking to stem the tide, Indy center back Paddy Barrett tried to carry over his attacking flair from recent games with an audacious look from the opposite side of the midfield stripe, the attempt to catch Riverhounds goalkeeper Tomas Gomez off his line drifting just high.The 27th minute saw plenty of drama inside the Indy penalty area, starting when Eleven ‘keeper Evan Newton went low to come up big on Robbie Mertz’s blast set up by a give-and-go with Mark Forrest. Controversy reigned on the ensuing corner kick, which saw Kenardo Forbes’ redirect from the corner of the six ring off the underside of the crossbar, off the goaline and again off the crossbar before landing in the grateful arms of Newton. Despite pleas for a goal, center referee Eric Tattersall listened to his assistant who vigorously waved off any confirmation of a score, the two sides playing on from their scoreless stalemate as the half hour approached.The meaningful chances dried up as the half waned until deep into six minutes of stoppage time, when Indy Eleven defender Karl Ouimette had an open header at the six off of Tyler Pasher’s set piece service, only to see the chance sent right to Gomez on his line.The second half was a largely disjointed affair, spent mostly in the middle third and in search of a badly needed spark outside of five yellow cards – and even those were devoid of much venom, apart from Mensah’s unneeded challenge against Newton on an aerial ball in the 82nd minute.Neither team had a moment of true attacking danger in the half until the allotted six minutes of stoppage had expired. Indy’s last-gasp counter started with Neveal Hackshaw’s clearance from the Eleven penalty spot and continued when Drew Conner played a ball into midfield towards substitute striker Jeremy Rafanello, whose challenge led to Pasher collecting the ball. A 50-yard run, one cut centrally from the right flank and three dusted defenders later, Pasher set himself up on his preferred left foot for a 25-yard lash into the upper left corner that beat Gomez’s full extension, making Indy the first team to reach double-digit points in the 2020 USL Championship season.Indy Eleven will stay on the road for its next match this Sunday, July 26, when Indiana’s Team heads to the Gateway of the West to meet fellow Group E foe Saint Louis FC (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts.). Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. for the contest that will air locally on MyINDY-TV 23 and nationally on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.Indy Eleven’s next two home contests come back to back next Wednesday, July 29, and Saturday, August 1, versus Hartford Athletic and Sporting Kansas City II, respectively. Tickets are available for both 7:00 p.m. kickoffs at Lucas Oil Stadium by visiting indyeleven.com/tickets or calling 317-685-1100.
USL Championship Regular Season – #PITvIND Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 0 : 1 Indy Eleven
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – 6:00 p.m. ET Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, Pa. Attendance: N/A
2020 USL Championship records
Indy Eleven (4W-0L-0D, 12 pts., 1st in Group E)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts., 1st in Group F)