Indy 11 Releases New Jersey’s
Indy 11 Season Starts Season Tonight 6 pm ESPN+
Ok I am embarrassed I missed this – Conference tourney hoops season and work got me bogged down. The Indy 11 kick off their 2022 season with raised expectations thanks to a huge pickup with its head coaching position this offseason, former El Paso Locomotive FC Head Coach and 2021 Championship Coach of the Year Finalist Mark Lowry as its new boss. Lowry’s success in El Paso and at prior stops has made him one of the brightest young coaches in North American currently, and the expectation will be his arrival helps vault Indy back to the heights it reached in 2019, when the side advance to the Eastern Conference Final in the postseason. Lowry has brought some trusted lieutenants with him from El Paso in defender Mechack Jerome and midfielder Bryam Rebellon, and there are some key holdovers from last season led by forward Manuel Arteaga and defenders Karl Ouimette and Neveal Hackshaw. The side has also been aggressive in free agency, acquiring Hackshaw’s Trinidad and Tobago teammate and 2019 title-winner Noah Powder and veteran forward Stefano Pinho. The 11 play at Loudaun United tonight on ESPN+ at 6 pm, the first of 3 straight road games to start the season before returning for the home opener on Sat, Apr 2 @ 7 pm vs LA Galaxy II at the Mike.
Indy 11 Preview – Indy Star – Kevin Johnson
MLS Week 3
The largest crowd to ever see an MLS game over 74,700 people sang the National Anthem last Saturday in their opening game at Panther Stadium. The final attendance topped the old MLS high of 73,019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when the Atlanta United played the Portland Timbers for the MLS Cup in December 2018. Charlotte played well but lost on a galazo goal by LA Galaxy’s Alvarez. Of course the story of the night might have been the exchange of jersey’s between LA’s Sacha Lljestan and former cancer patient now Charlotte FC’s Christ Hedgart. This Week Atlanta United looks to return the favor as they host Charlotte in Atlanta on Sunday on Fox Sports 1 at 4:30 pm. Saturday’s huge game is Seattle hosting LAFC on Fox at 3:30 pm.
Games to Watch This Week
Saturday gives us a huge top 4 battle as Man United host Tottenham Saturday at 12:30 pm unfortunately on Peacock – will one of these 2 teams finish in the top 4 or will Arsenal hold them off – they host Leicister City Sunday at 11:30 am on USA. Arsenal has won 3 straight and 1 tie – City has won 2 in a row – good match-up Sunday on free TV!! At 10 am Sunday – American Coach Jesse Marsch might get his first win with Leeds at home vs Norwich City and American forward Josh Stewart –a huge game for both Americans in the EPL !! Sunday Chelsea & Pulisic host New Castle at 10 am on Peacock, while the Hammers host Frank Lampard’s Aston Villa at 10 am on USA Network. (full schedule below in the OBC) (See the American’s play)
CFC Goalkeeping Wed only Training this week at Badger Field House
We look forward to seeing all our GKs at training this Wed/Thurs !! Just Devastating hearing that Stanford Senior Goalkeeper Katie Meyer died by suicide last week. Everyone hug your kids and remind them how much they are loved ! If you (or someone you know) need support, call the toll-free, 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text HOME to 741741 for free, which offers 24/7 support from the Crisis Text Line.
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BIG GAMES ON TV
(American’s in parenthesis)
Sat, Mar 12
7:30 am Peacock Brighton vs Liverpool
10 am USA Brentford vs Burnley
12 noon Para + Sampadoria vs Juventus
2:45 pm Para + Miln vs Empoli
12:30 pm Peacock Man United vs Tottenham
12:30 pm ESPN+ Gladbach (Scally) vs Hertha
1:30 pm Univision Inter Miami (Yedlin) vs LAFC
3:30 pm Fox Seattle (Morris/Roldan) vs LA Galaxy
6 pm ESPN+ Indy 11 @ Loudon United FC
10 pm Telemundo Guadalajara vs America
Sun, Mar 13
10 am Peacock Chelsea (Pulisic) vs New Castle
10 am USA West Ham vs Aston Villa
10 am Peacock Leeds United (Marsch) vs Norwich (Stewart)
12 noon Para + Sampadoria vs Juventus
2:45 pm Para + Milan vs Empoli
12:30 pm USA Arsenal vs Leciester City
12:30 pm ESPN+ Dortmund (vs Bielfield
2:30 pm ESPN+ Furth vs RB Leipzig (Adams)
4:30 pm Fox Sport 1 Atlanta United (Robinson) vs Charlotte
Mon, Mar 14
4 pm USA Crystal Palace vs Man City
Tues, Mar 15 – Champ League
4 pm CBS Man U vs Atletico Madrid
4 pm Paramount+ Ajax vs Benefica
9 pm FS2 Communciations 0 vs NYCFC 3 CCL
Wed, Mar 16– Champ League
4 pm CBS Lille vs Chelsea (Pulisic)
4 pm Paramount+ Juventus vs Villarreal
4 pm Peacock Arsenal vs Liverpool
9 pm FS2 Montreal vs Cruz Azul CCL
11:15 pm FS 1 Pumas vs New England CCL
Thur, Mar17– Europa League
1:45 pm Para + Galatasary vs Barcelona (Dest)
1:45 pm Para+ Leverkusen vs Atalanta
1:45 pm Para+ Zvezda vs Rangers
4 pm Paramount+ West Ham vs Sevilla
8:30 pm FS1 Leon 0 vs Seattle 3
Indy 11 Preview – Indy Star – Kevin Johnson
USL Season Preview – USL Tactics
USL Season Preview – 538
USL Season Previews – SB BNation
Eastern Conference Preview: https://www.uslchampionship.com/news_article/show/1212807
Western Conference Preview: https://www.uslchampionship.com/news_article/show/1213261
Pulisic’s Uncertain Outlook with Chelsea in $ Trouble – ESPN
Goalkeeping Around the World
Spurs vs Man United & We Preview all the EPL Games this Weekend
Leeds vs Aston Villa final score: Villans win big
Marsch admits Leeds were ‘disjointed’ v. Villans
Lampard plays down crisis talk at struggling Everton
Chelsea’s Billion-Dollar Bidding War Back On With Deadline Extension
Chelsea ignore Abramovich sanctions to beat Norwich, Leeds crash again
Chelsea financially perilous after Abramovich is sanctioned
Rangnick doesn’t know if Ronaldo is happy at Man Utd
Indy Eleven ushers in new era with a new coach, new style and plenty of new players
Kevin Johnston Special for IndyStar WESTFIELD – Under the guidance of new coach Mark Lowry, the Indy Eleven will embark upon a new era this weekend when they kick off the USL Championship regular season 6 p.m., Saturday at Loudoun United.Along with a new manager comes a new brand of soccer. Lowry said he expects his side to generate ample chances this year. For that to happen, it requires a high work rate.“How the guys work, and run, and tackle, and fight for each other — that’s what I want to be the identity of the team, first and foremost,” Lowry said. “So, anybody that comes to watch a game goes away thinking, ‘Man, Indy Eleven fought really hard. The effort was fantastic.’ Every single game, 100% effort from every single one of the players.”More on Indy Eleven:Expect plenty of fresh faces as new Eleven coach Mark Lowry rebuilds roster
Returning from the 2021 team are defenders AJ Cochran, Karl Ouimette and Jared Timmer, midfielders Ayoze Garcia, Neveal Hackshaw, Alann Torres and Nicky Law, and forward Manuel Arteaga.
Notice how Hackshaw is listed as a midfielder. That’s because he appears likely to move into a central defensive midfield role this season under Lowry after previously playing as a left-sided defender under former manager Martin Rennie.Torres played for Indy on an academy deal last year, but impressed enough to earn himself a full professional contract this season. A few other youngsters return on USL academy contracts, joining a handful of newcomers. Such deals allow the players to retain their amateur status. The full list of USL academy contract players on Indy’s roster includes reigning Indiana Mr. Soccer Palmer Ault (Noblesville), Luca Iaccino, Diego Sanchez, Aiden Benitez, Ecris Revolorio, Bryce Warhaft and Alex Svetanoff.Lowry believes most of the academy contract players’ experience will come on the training grounds.“It’s going to be difficult for them (to get minutes), I’ll be honest,” Lowry said. “We’ve got a strong 18, 19 pros this year.“If they work hard enough and if they come in every day with the right attitude, then the opportunity will be there for them eventually.”New to the roster are goalkeepers Elliot Panicco (on loan from Major League Soccer’s Nashville SC) and Tim Trilk, defenders Mechack Jerome, Alex McQueen and Noah Powder, midfielders Raul Aguilera, Justin Ingram, Sam Brown, Bryam Rebellón and Jonas Fjeldberg, and forwards Aris Briggs and Stefano Pinho.Ingram, a standout at Pike, gets to begin his pro career with his hometown club. Inter Miami selected Ingram in the second round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, but he ultimately didn’t crack the roster. Miami’s loss became Indy’s gain.“It was actually a really good experience (with Inter Miami),” Ingram said. “They played me slightly out of position, more as a defender, which was definitely a little different than what I’m used to.“It wasn’t meant to be. And I’m here and I’m happy, so no complaints.”
Ingram, who spent two years at the University of Virginia before finishing at Loyola (Md.), played multiple years of local youth club soccer for current Eleven assistant coach Phil Presser, and credits Presser for helping develop his game.“He really prepared me for, at that time, college, but now Indy Eleven and my career as a whole,” Ingram said.Presser played a prominent role in bringing Ingram to the “Boys in Blue.”“I definitely spoke with him kind of throughout the whole process,” Ingram said. “Even over the last couple years, I trained with Indy Eleven during the summer, just while I’ve been on break from college games.”
What’s next for Indy Eleven and USL
Indy will play on the road two more times after Saturday’s opener — March 19 at the Tampa Bay Rowdies and March 26 at rival Louisville City — before finally hosting its home opener April 2 at Carroll Stadium against LA Galaxy II.The club still hasn’t provided a significant update on the status of its future home, Eleven Park, after canceling a site-reveal announcement originally planned for March 2021.As for what to expect of the Eleven this season, Lowry’s consistent success with the El Paso Locomotive — in the very same league — suggests that it’s a matter of when, not if, similar results are achieved in Indy.
Indy Eleven 2022 Season Preview
By NICHOLAS MURRAY – email@example.com, 03/03/22, 5:00PM EST
There was plenty of optimism around Indy Eleven at the start of the 2021 season, and an early victory against Louisville City FC – breaking an extensive winless streak in the LIPAFC – felt like a notable moment. Eight games into the season, however, Head Coach Martin Rennie departed with the side 3-4-1 and things never properly got back on track as the Boys in Blue missed out on a postseason berth for a second consecutive season.Indy went big in filling its head coaching position this offseason, inking former El Paso Locomotive FC Head Coach and 2021 Championship Coach of the Year Finalist Mark Lowry as its new boss. Lowry’s success in El Paso and at prior stops has made him one of the brightest young coaches in North American currently, and the expectation will be his arrival helps vault Indy back to the heights it reached in 2019, when the side advance to the Eastern Conference Final in the postseason.Lowry has brought some trusted lieutenants with him from El Paso in defender Mechack Jerome and midfielder Bryam Rebellon, and there are some key holdovers from last season led by forward Manuel Arteaga and defenders Karl Ouimette and Neveal Hackshaw. The side has also been aggressive in free agency, acquiring Hackshaw’s Trinidad and Tobago teammate and 2019 title-winner Noah Powder and veteran forward Stefano Pinho. How it all comes together is going to be worth watching, with Indy’s vocal support eager to back a winner.
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Mechack Jerome – Haiti international makes move across country with Mark Lowry from El Paso
Noah Powder – Trinidad & Tobago international signed, won Championship Final in 2019 with Real Monarchs SLC
Stefano Pinho – Veteran forward will look to boost Indy’s attacking for with Manuel Arteaga
Jonas Fjeldberg – Norwegian winger shone in stint on loan with Rio Grande Valley a season ago
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Jordan Farr – Signed with San Antonio (where he lead them to the Western Conference Finals last year)
Nick Moon – Wing back signed as free agent with San Diego Loyal SC
Rece Buckmaster – Defender returned to Memphis 901 FC after one season in Indy
Gerson Koffie – Veteran midfielder departed as free agent
Peter-Lee Vassell – Jamaican international made move to Hartford Athletic as free agent
TWO TO WATCH
Neveal Hackshaw, Defender
The 2021 season was a disappointing one for Indy Eleven overall, but at the heart of the club’s defense, Neveal Hackshaw continued to show why he’s become one of the most respected left-sided defenders in the league. The Trinidad and Tobago international was the most consistent performer for the Boys in Blue over the campaign, registering a +0.97 Goals Added Above Average mark for the season, comfortably the highest on the team. Hackshaw’s versatility and quality will make him a valuable piece for new Head Coach Mark Lowry as Indy seeks a drive back up the Eastern Conference standings this season.
Manuel Arteaga, Forward
The central issue for Indy in the 2021 season was a lack of finishing in the final third, with the side only recording 32 goals in 32 games in the regular season. The lone bright spot was Manuel Arteaga, who recorded 10 goals and two assists in his first season at the club, effectively matching his Expected Goals and Assists marks over the campaign. With the potential for more creativity in the final third, the Venezuelan forward could find himself higher up in the race for the Golden Boot this season. If he is, then Indy should be back in a major way in the battle for the postseason.
Mark Lowry (1st Season)
Mark Lowry’s offseason move from El Paso Locomotive FC to Indy Eleven was maybe the most notable coaching change of this offseason in the USL Championship, bringing the bright young English coach to an Indy club looking to return to the league’s elite. Lowry’s track record is impeccable, and he enters having been nominated for the Championship’s Coach of the Year a season ago. Indy will be hoping the success he achieved in Texas can be quickly replicated in the Circle City.
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168 Indy Eleven conceded 168 shots on target a season ago, tied for the fourth-highest total in the USL Championship. By contrast, Mark Lowry’s former club El Paso Locomotive only allowed 101, a total the Boys in Blue will be hoping to come closer to this campaign as they try to tighten up defensively.
LOUDOUN UNITED FC VS. INDY ELEVEN
Venue: Segra Field
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: LDN 32%, IND 41%, Draw 27%
The Lowdown: A new era begins on the road for Indy Eleven as the side takes to the field for the first time under Head Coach Mark Lowry against Loudoun United FC. The Boys in Blue will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their last trip to Segra Field, which saw Loudoun take a 4-1 victory last August, one of only four wins United recorded in the regular season in 2021.
Loudoun United FC – Grant Lillard: One of Loudoun’s new arrivals this offseason, the former Chicago Fire FC Homegrown will hope to reinforce the center of United’s defense in his potential debut.
Indy Eleven – Manuel Arteaga: The Venezuelan forward will be looking to get out to a strong start this campaign after notching 10 goals in his first season for the Boys in Blue.
USMNT weekend viewing guide: What to do about Weah
Also, don’t get caught by a midweek time changeBy jcksnftsn Mar 11, 2022, 9:00am PST
We’re about a week away from the next roster announcement and less than two weeks from the USMNT’s next competitive match, in Mexico City no less, and things are… interesting in terms of player availability. Weston McKennie is done for the season, Chris Richards hasn’t appeared since his injury with the USMNT in early February, Zack Steffen and Matt Turner are both dealing with injuries that are keeping them from playing, Giovanni Reyna may be close to returning but has missed significant time, and Christian Pulisic missed Thursday’s match due to “illness”. On top of all that other key contributors such as Tyler Adams and Timothy Weah have found playing time a bit sparse recently. Which leads us right into Friday’s action when Weah’s Lille will kick things off for the weekend.
Freiburg v Wolfsburg – 9:30a on ESPN+
Reports out of Germany are that John Brooks and Wolfsburg have mutually agreed that this will be his last season with the club. Brooks is out of contract at the end of the year and the two sides are not pursuing a new contract. In the meantime however it seems that Brooks will maintain his role for the club, he has started nine straight matches including last weekends 1-0 win over Union Berlin. Wolfsburg seem to be finding their form a bit with seven points from their past five matches, which broke a nine game winless streak. The team is sitting on 31 points, nowhere near their Champions League qualifying finish last season, and easing their way out of the relegation threatened zone.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Brooks lands next Fall and what role he takes on with his new team. At 29 he’s no spring chick but there should be some wear left on those wheels and his game is not dependent on some ridiculous level of athleticism. Whether he will be called in for the USMNT also remains to be seen as he has been left out of the last few cycles, which would have seemed unfathomable nine months ago but seems at least survivable now with the performances of Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, and Chris Richards.
- Inter Miami and DeAndre Yedlin are off to a rough start to their 2022 campaign, playing to a scoreless draw the opening weekend and getting thumped by Austin FC 5-1 last weekend. They will face LAFC who won their opener 3-0 and then played Portland to a 1-1 draw last weekend. The match will be played at 1:30p on Univision and streamed on Twitter.
- Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris and the Seattle Sounders are also off to a slow start in MLS with their failure to score resulting in a pair of 1-0 losses to Nashville and Real Salt Lake. They’ll look to open their scoring against the LA Galaxy who have won their two openers by the same score line. The match will be on Fox at 3:30p.
- The Augsburg v Mainz match Saturday morning has been postponed so Ricardo Pepi will get a bit more rest this weekend.
- Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart face Union Berlin at 9:30a on ESPN+ needing points to get out of the relegation zone, they are a point back of Hertha Berlin.
- Chris Richards remains out for Hoffenheim who face his parent club Bayern Munich at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Joe Scally picked up his first start since December last weekend in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 3-2 loss to Stuttgart. The club will face Hertha Berlin in another crucial relegation battle at 12:30p on ESPN+. Gladbach currently sit in 13th place, just four points ahead of Hertha who are in the relegation playoff position.
- Yunus Musah will be serving a yellow card suspension Saturday after picking up his fifth yellow of the season last weekend. His team will face Getafe at 3p on ESPN+.
MLS streams (all matches on ESPN+):
- Gyasi Zardes started on the bench again last weekend but did come in and pick up a goal for the Columbus Crew as they played San Jose to a 3-3 draw. This weekend Columbus will face Toronto FC and Michael Bradley at 1:30p.
- Griffin Yow, Moses Nyeman and DC United have won their first two matches of the season though the victories came against Charlotte and Cincinnati so things should be a bit tougher this weekend against the Chicago Fire at 7:30p. With injuries to the USMNT’s first two choices at keeper the Fire’s Gaga Sloninia could see himself getting close to some action in the March window.
- Sebastian Lletget has two goals in three matches across all competitions to start the season for New England who defeated FC Dallas 1-0 last weekend and are coming off a 3-0 win over Liga MX side Pumas on Wednesday. Real Salt Lake are coming off a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders thanks to a Bobby Wood goal. New England and RSL matchup at 7:30p.
- The Philadelphia Union and San Jose Earthquakes also kickoff at 7:30p. San Jose has given up three goals in each of their first two matches and Philadelphia is coming off a 2-1 win over Montreal. Both teams have some interesting younger players though Cowell (San Jose) and Sullivan (Philadelphia) both came off the bench while Aaronson and McGlynn were both unused substitutes for Philly.
- The MLS match of the weekend from a USMNT perspective is probably the FC Dallas v Nashville SC match with Ferreira, Arriola and Zimmerman the USMNT likely callups who will start along with Dallas’ midfield trio of Pomykal, Cerrillo, and Servania. This match will kick off at 8:30p.
Barcelona v Osasuna – 4p on ESPN+
Sergino Dest and Barcelona seem to have found their form under Xavi and have worked their way into third place in the la Liga standings on the back of an undefeated streak stretching 11 games that includes winning five of their past six matches. Dest was on the bench and came on as a late substitute in the teams 2-1 win over Elche last weekend and he started and went the full 90’ in their scoreless draw midweek with Galatasaray in Europa League action. He had also started the clubs three previous league matches prior to last weekend so while he may not be a sure fire starter every week he does seem to have found a regular role with the side. Their opponent this weekend, Osasuna, is pretty comfortably middle of the table, eleven points out of relegation, eleven points back of Europa League, and of course in eleventh place. They are coming off a 1-0 win over Villarreal last weekend.
- Miles Robinson and Atlanta United will face Charlotte FC at 4:30p on FS1. Charlotte are looking for their first points of the young season while Atlanta won their opener 3-1 over Sporting Kansas City but came crashing back to earth last weekend in a 3-0 loss to Colorado.
- Christian Pulisic missed Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Norwich City on Thursday due to illness but will hopefully be available on Sunday as the club take on Newcastle United at 10a on Peacock.
- I’m not sure who needs a win more Leeds United and their new American manager who have lost their first two matches since he took over or Josh Sargent and Norwich City who sit bottom of the table. This relegation derby is quite the match for US fans, it will be played at 10a on Peacock as well.
- Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt face Bochum at 12:30p on ESPN+. Chandler was a late substitute last weekend in the teams 4-1 win over Hertha.
- In some rare positive injury news Giovanni Reyna is reportedly ready to return to the field and should be available for Borussia Dortmund this weekend when they face George Bello and Arminia Bielefeld at 12:30p on ESPN+. Look for Reyna to get some substitute minutes in the second half.
- Real Sociedad take on Deportivo Alaves and Matt Miazga at 1:30p on ESPN+. Miazga looks to be back to the bench since his start three weeks ago against Real Madrid.
- Timothy Tillman, Julian Green and Greuther Furth face Tyler Adams’ RB Leipzig at 2:30p on ESPN+. Like Weah, Adams has found playing time a bit difficult to come by lately though also like Weah he seems like a sure fire starter for the USMNT regardless of his status with his club side.
- Konrad de la Fuente has been the source of some unflattering reporting out of France recently, hopefully the young man is able to turn things around beginning on Sunday afternoon when Olympique Marseille face Brest at 3:45p on beIN Sports.
MLS streams (all matches on ESPN+):
- The New York Red Bulls and Minnesota United close out the weekend with a 7p kickoff. NYRB have won their first two matches 3-1 and 4-1 while Minnesota have played a pair of 1-1 draws.
Bonus Monday content:
- Tanner Tessman, Gianluca Busio and Venezia have a Monday match against Lazio at 3:45p on ESPN+. Venezia have lost their last two matches and fallen into 18th place, three points from safety.
Hit the comments section below to let us know what your watching, what you hope to see, or who you’re pulling for in the Leeds / Norwich City relegation battle.
English Premier League betting: Manchester United and Tottenham square off in a huge match
Fri, March 11, 2022, 8:02 AM
The chase for fourth place in the English Premier League could get clearer this weekend.Arsenal is a favorite to get three points against Leicester City on Sunday. The Gunners currently occupy the fourth spot by a point over Manchester United and three points over Tottenham. Arsenal has three games in hand over United and a game in hand over Tottenham.Arsenał will also know where Man U and Tottenham stand before it kicks off too. The fifth and seventh-place teams in the table play each other at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. If United wins, it (temporarily?) jumps into fourth. If Tottenham wins, it’s tied with Arsenal on points but behind on goal difference.Outside of the race for the final Champions League spot, the biggest game of the weekend comes at the bottom of the table. Eighteenth-place Burnley visits 15th-place Brentford in a game that could be vital in May. Burnley is six points back of Brentford with two games in hand. A win for Burnley could get it out of the relegation zone and as high as 16th in the table.Here’s what you need to know for the weekend’s fixtures. All odds are from BetMGM. There are six games on Sunday after four games were played on Thursday. All games are Saturday unless noted.Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Liverpool (over/under 2.5 goals)
Brighton is in the midst of a slump. Liverpool keeps getting points without playing well and that can be a dangerous game. But Brighton’s current form doesn’t make us too confident that Liverpool is going to lose this game.
Brentford vs. Burnley (2.5)
Brentford beat Norwich over the weekend. We’re not sure what to take from that given that everyone is beating Norwich these days. We’re inclined to go with the Bees, but no result is going to surprise us.
Manchester United vs. Tottenham (2.5)
Manchester United could win by five goals and it wouldn’t be a stunner. Tottenham could win by five goals and it wouldn’t be a stunner. This could be a 0-0 draw and it wouldn’t be a stunner. That said, we’re going with the over.
Southampton vs. Watford (2.5) [Sunday]
The Saints are just a point back of Aston Villa and in 10th place in the table. Watford looks destined for relegation. Southampton is the pick.
Leeds vs. Norwich City (3.5) [Sunday]
It’s not often you see a team in the midst of a massive slide as a -175 to win, but that’s what’s going on with Leeds here. Could this be Jesse Marsch’s first win as coach? Possibly.
Everton vs. Wolves (2.5) [Sunday]
Everton desperately needs a win after getting thrashed by Tottenham on Monday. A Wolves win coupled with a Burnley win could drop Everton into the relegation zone. How crazy is that?
West Ham vs. Aston Villa (2.5) [Sunday]
This is a fascinating contest. West Ham arguably deserved a point against Liverpool over the weekend and lost by a goal to Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday. David Moyes fielded a full-strength team in Spain — how many changes can he afford to make on Sunday?
Chelsea vs. Newcastle (2.5) [Sunday]
The turmoil surrounding Chelsea is the great unknown here. The club is allowed to operate despite owner Roman Abramovich’s asset freeze, though the club can’t make any transactions in the near future. Shirt sponsor Three has also backed out of its deal with the team. Chelsea should win, but a Newcastle win may be more likely than the +950 odds indicate.
Arsenal vs. Leicester City (2.5) [Sunday]
Leicester enters on a two-game EPL win streak, though the victories were over Burnley and Leeds. Arsenal has won three straight games and has gotten points in its last four. We strongly lean Arsenal.
#LDNvIND Opens Curtain on 2022 USL Championship Campaign
#LDNvIND GAMEDAY PREVIEW
Indy Eleven at Loudoun United FC
Saturday, March 12, 2022 – 6:00 p.m. ET
Segra Field – Leesburg, Va.
Local/National TV: N/A
Streaming Video: ESPN+ (click to subscribe)
Radio (Spanish): N/A
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers
Live stats: #LDNvIND MatchCenter on USLChampionship.com
Fans, rejoice! After waiting 133 days following the conclusion of its 2021 USL Championship campaign, Indy Eleven returns to action Saturday at Loudoun United FC in an evening affair that will open the curtain on the Championship’s 459-game regular season slate in 2022.
The last two seasons have seen Indy Eleven’s play largely limited to regional rivals after the USL Championship split its teams into smaller divisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the league reverting back to a 34-game season that includes intra-conference home-and-away series and the remaining balance against cross-conference opposition, Indy Eleven will be keen to start the year on the front foot as it reintroduces itself to Eastern and Western Conference foes old and new.
A lot has changed since the Boys in Blue last took to the pitch …
New Coach in Town
Saturday’s match will be the first official outing for Indy Eleven under the helm of Head Coach Mark Lowry, who was appointed to his new role near the start of the offseason last November. The 36-year-old comes to the Circle City after leading Western Conference side El Paso Locomotive FC through three consecutive postseason berths, including two trips to the Western Conference Final.
Lowry accumulated an impressive 40W-26-16L ledger during his three-year stint with the South Texas side, marking the fourth most USL Championship coaching wins in that time. Lowry was also shortlisted for the Coach of the Year honor last year having lost a league-low four games and led his former team to the top of the Mountain Division with 61 points.
After two years outside the playoff picture, Lowry came to the Circle City vowing to instill a winning culture inside the Eleven locker room. While results are not of paramount importance during the preseason schedule, early results have been promising, with Lowry’s squad ending its eight-game exhibition slate with a 5W-1L-2D record.
Welcome to the Team …
The returns of defenders Karl Ouimette, Jared Timmer and AJ Cochran; midfielders Neveal Hackshaw, Nicky Law and Ayoze; and forward Manuel Arteaga provided a core for Coach Lowry to build from thorough the offseason. However, with new leadership came a swarm of new names on the Boys in Blue roster, 16 (and counting) to be exact.
Amongst that new group are a few players that have been a part of Lowry’s stateside coaching career. Defender Mechack Jérôme and midfielder Bryam Rebellon joined Indiana’s Team after successful stints at El Paso Locomotive and Jacksonville Armada FC (NASL/NPSL), both veterans under the tutelage of Coach Lowry. Midfielder Raul Aguilera is another familiar face having been a product of Orlando City SC’s youth system during Lowry’s time as an academy coach (2012-15). Aguilera went on to eventually sign a homegrown contract with the Major League Soccer side before making the move to the Midwest.
Fostering youth development has been a key factor in Lowry’s roster build heading into the 2022 season. Seven members of the Boys in Blue are currently on USL Academy contracts, including midfielder Bryce Warhaft, who earned a spot on the roster after attending Indy Eleven’s 2022 Open Tryout in January and impressed throughout the preseason. In similar fashion, forward Luca Iaccino is considered one of the top prospects in the region due to the success he’s found with Chicago-based Sockers FC and the Chicago Fire Academy. Palmer Ault may be name fans are familiar with, as the forward scored two goals and an assist en route to Indy Eleven’s championship claim in the inaugural USL Academy Final last December. Moreover, three of Indy Eleven academy prospects are returning for their second season with the club (Ecris Revolorio, Aiden Benitez, Diego Sanchez), while goalkeeper Alex Svetanoff is returning for his third before he departs for the University of Louisville this fall.
Series History vs. Loudoun United FC
Overall record: 2W-1L-0D (5 GF/5 GA)
Away record: 1W-1L-0D (3 GF/5 GA)
Indy Eleven’s first two games against Loudoun came during the Virginian side’s 2019 Inaugural Season, and both went the Eleven’s way, starting with a 2-1 win at D.C. United’s (then) new home of Audi Field in the District on June 15. In that one, Tyler Pasher struck with one minute left in regulation to complete a comeback that started with Nelson Martinez’s 66th minute own goal. Just over a month later on July 20 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Pasher provided a late insurance goal that supported Thomas Enevoldsen’s 81st minute game-winner in a 2-0 victory.
Last season saw Loudoun serve as one of four “crossover” games for Indy Eleven outside of the Central Division, and the squad’s first visit to Segra Field was a tough one as United took the full points with a 4-1 win. Sammy Sergi’s late first half brace (43’, 45+1’) put Indy behind the eight-ball heading into the break, and by the time DF Karl Ouimette was able to put the Eleven on the board in the 79th minute United had already doubled its advantage minutes prior through Darluis Paz (73’) and Theodore Ku-DiPietro (76’).
The squads will reconvene late in the season at Carroll Stadium for the return match in Indy on September 25.
Player to Watch: MF Neveal Hackshaw
If you didn’t catch it above, perhaps one of the biggest changes the Indy Eleven faithful will notice in 2022 is a new position for one of the squad’s longest tenured players – although it’s a role that Hackshaw is indeed familiar with.
Lowry has the Trinidad & Tobago international slotted for the deep sitting role in a 4-man “diamond” midfield formation, which should be an easy translation for Hackshaw after playing more of a defensive mid role while with the Soca Warriors in recent years. While Hackshaw proved to be one of the Championship’s premier left backs since joining Indiana’s Team in 2019, this new role could unlock even more of Hackshaw’s underrated passing and vision – while also allowing him to utilize his immense physicality in the middle of the pitch.
There will also be one more “new-ish” role for Neveal in 2022, and again its one he’s familiar with. After donning the captain’s armband on sporadic occasions across his first three seasons with the Eleven, Lowry has named “Hack” a team captain alongside Ayoze for the 2022 season, allowing the 26-year-old the opportunity to tackle even more responsibility … perhaps while he does a little more tackling on the field as well.
USL Championship Power Rankings – Preseason
|1||Orange County SC|
Week 1: @ COS
|Ronaldo Damus is back, Cubo Torres has landed, and there’s plenty of returning quality across the squad for the defending title holder. Saturday’s opener and playoff rematch at Colorado Springs will be one of the games of the weekend.|
|2||Tampa Bay Rowdies|
Week 1: @ BHM
|Tampa Bay’s defensive unit had almost unmatched continuity over the past two seasons, but even with the departure of Forrest Lasso and Evan Louro after award-winning seasons you’d expect that foundation to remain firmly in place this year.|
|3||Louisville City FC|
Week 1: v. ATL
|Cameron Lancaster’s preseason injury is a blow, but the depth LouCity has added to its returning core will keep it right there in the contenders. The club’s best regular season saw it earn 66 points in 2018, that could be surpassed this campaign.|
|4||Phoenix Rising FC|
Week 1: v. MB
|For the first time in a while Phoenix isn’t rated as the preseason favorite by fivethirtyeight.com. After putting up five goals in its preseason finale against FC Tucson, though, the new-look attack sure seems ready to maintain a remarkably high standard.|
|5||San Antonio FC|
Week 1: v. DET
|Last year’s Western Conference Finalist was one of the toughest teams to play in the league last season and lived on the edge when it came to physicality. Championship newcomer Detroit City FC will likely be aware, and ready, as it heads to Toyota Field on Saturday|
|6||Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC|
Week 1: @ MEM
|Five wins out of six in preseason has seen Dane Kelly find the net alongside his new teammates. The Hounds look in really good shape as they get ready to start season five under Bob Lilley.|
|7||San Diego Loyal SC|
Week 1: v. LA
|SD Loyal was hyped for the start of last season, and then lost four consecutive games out of the chute. Don’t expect that to happen again as Landon Donovan’s side welcomes a Galaxy II side it swept across four meetings last season to Torero Stadium to start this campaign.|
|8||The Miami FC|
Week 1: v. NY
|Last season’s progression and the club’s offseason additions have Miami looking on paper in a really good spot. Three points from Saturday’s opening game against the New York Red Bulls II would add to that optimism about where new Head Coach Anthony Pulis’ side is headed.|
|9||Sacramento Republic FC|
Week 1: v. ELP
|The overhaul conducted on Republic FC’s roster was filled with major moves, all of which look really strong on paper. Saturday’s visit from El Paso Locomotive FC should be appointment viewing and could be the start of something big at Heart Health Park this season.|
|10||El Paso Locomotive FC|
Week 1: @ SAC
|There are a lot of quality players returning for Locomotive FC this season, but last season’s underlying numbers said there might have been some major overperformance. Saturday’s test at Sacramento might give us an idea of where Locomotive FC is now.|
|11||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC|
Week 1: v. OC
|The Switchbacks rolled up seven goals in each of their final two preseason games. If they’ve got the defense sorted out with new goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell between the sticks, this squad could be extremely dangerous this season.|
|12||Birmingham Legion FC|
Week 1: v. TBR
|Birmingham’s new-look attack will get to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ newly organized defense in the club’s first regular season game at Protective Stadium on Sunday in what could be the key area of the contest on ESPN2.|
|13||New Mexico United|
Week 1: v. LV
|Neco Brett’s addition to New Mexico United’s squad gives the club something it’s not had before – a consistent goalscorer. That’s going to be music to Chris Wehan and the rest of United squad’s ears as they look to become a consistent threat in the attacking third.|
Week 1: @ LDN
|The Mark Lowry era begins at Indy Eleven on Saturday with a visit to Loudoun United FC. After missing the postseason for two consecutive years, getting out to a strong start this season would be a big boost for what looks like a solid squad.|
Week 1: @ CHS
|FC Tulsa has added size and quality in both the defensive and attacking thirds, but the biggest question is which player is going to be the consistent goalscorer a top contender typically needs to have if Head Coach Michael Nsien’s side is going to be a serious contender?|
|16||Rio Grande Valley FC|
Week 1: v. OAK
|The Toros look like they’ve got a solid foundation in defense and midfield, but aside from Frank Lopez the attack is looking a little light, and its unlikely they’ll be able to surprise anyone this season as they did at the start of 2021.|
|17||Oakland Roots SC|
Week 1: @ RGV
|Roots SC surprised a lot of people with its first-year success, and with new Head Coach Juan Guerra at the helm the side has added some interesting new pieces for the new season. Saturday’s opening game at RGVFC could be a sleeper pick in terms of intriguing matchups.|
|18||Detroit City FC|
Week 1: @ SA
|From the outside, it sure seems like Detroit City FC likes a challenge. Getting to visit a San Antonio FC team that’s gone 14-3-7 at home over the past two regular seasons for your inaugural game in the league is certainly that.|
|19||Memphis 901 FC|
Week 1: v. PIT
|Memphis saw two major pieces in defender Mark Segbers and Kyle Murphy depart this offseason, which leaves two big questions – who can fill Murphy’s goalscoring shoes, and who’s the new emergency goalkeeper?|
Week 1: v. TUL
|The Battery got their new era under Head Coach Conor Casey to a rousing start with a preseason win against MLS expansion side Charlotte FC. As the club kicks off its 30th anniversary season, the expectations are raised at Patriots Point.|
|Playmaker Danny Barrera is a difference-maker with 44 regular-season assists in his career. He’s going to need someone else to step up if Hartford’s going to vie for serious playoff contention.|
|22||Monterey Bay F.C.|
Week 1: @ PHX
|The road to Cardinale Stadium’s opening begins at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix on Saturday night for Head Coach Frank Yallop’s squad. It’s going to take every ounce of focus to come away with an opening night result.|
|23||Atlanta United 2|
Week 1: @ LOU
|Atlanta gets the unenviable task of going to Louisville for its first game of the season. A four-goal preseason outing against League One’s Greenville Triumph SC this past weekend delivered a positive to build on, though.|
|24||LA Galaxy II|
Week 1: @ SD
|Los Dos has lost five times in seven all-time meetings with San Diego Loyal SC, and it gets to go to Torero Stadium to kick off the new season on Saturday. Not the easiest assignment.|
|25||Las Vegas Lights FC|
Week 1: @ NM
|Las Vegas notched a 3-0 victory against defending title-holder Orange County SC this preseason. Then again, it beat Toronto FC 5-1 in preseason in 2019, so I’m going to need more convincing.|
|26||New York Red Bulls II|
Week 1: @ MIA
|The Red Bulls II have some dynamic attacking pieces, but it’s got to be so much better defensively if it’s going to come out of its opening game at Miami with a result.|
|27||Loudoun United FC|
Week 1: v. IND
|One of Loudoun United’s four victories last season was a 4-1 triumph against Indy Eleven, its visitors on Saturday. Lightning can’t strike twice, can it?|
- USL Tactics Season Preview: Profiles, power rankings, awards, and a title pick
Updated: 8 hours ago John Morrissey
Before I launch into a breakdown of every team in the league, I want to point you in the direction to a few resources that inform my approach to this process and can help contextualize the USL scene and offseason in general:
- For desktop users and brave mobile visitors, my 2022 USL Hub has full team-by-team statistics, a full league transaction tracker, and predicted lineups for every single USL club.
- The mobile crowd can visit my image-based 2022 Preview for a truncated version of those same team-by-team breakdowns and lineups.
- Anyone who reads my content should familiarize themselves with my GAR Explainer, a data-laden screed on how I generate player-by-player value and performance estimates.
- Of course, check out the USL Show for continuing coverage of the whole lower-tier ecosystem as well as my weekly USL Tactics Show.
- For an actual smart take on the season ahead, please look into Nicholas Murray’s article on the league website. He’s so good at what he does, and I’ve linked to his Eastern Conference hub as a jumping-off point.
Now, let’s get into it on my end. Note that the “+/-” column references my last power ranking from a few weeks back.
Tier 1 – Title Contenders
Starting at the top of the table, I have the Tampa Bay Rowdies leading the pack. Forrest Lasso and Evan Louro are big losses from a league-best defense, but I believe in Timmy Mehl and C.J. Cochran as replacements at centerback and in goal. On top of that, I really think that Jake Areman and Jake LaCava give this team a marked boost in versatility and creativity at the wingback and attacking midfield slots. They free Leo Fernandes, spell the burden on Yann Ekra and Lewis Hilton, and just give this team a plethora of options. How? Areman’s utility as a left wingback lets Fernandes play higher, and Lacava’s brilliance as a high-gravity #10 (note 90th percentile forward passing and shot-taking) will let Hilton sit deeper to pull the strings and Ekra leverage his destroyer skillset. The 3-5-2 is still rock solid, Sebastian Guenzatti is still a monster (97th percentile xG, MVP by GAR), and this team is going to be scary.
Two western sides follow closely behind Tampa in the top tier, so let’s start with the new-look Sacramento Republic. In last year’s iteration, the Republic were stale and feckless, devoid of any movement in attack and sorely lacking a presence in zone fourteen. They rank so highly because I’m entirely sold on Mark Briggs’ overhaul in California’s capital. Additions like Matt LaGrassa (top-quarter xA and DAs in his last USL season), Zeiko Lewis (90th percentile plus xG or xA three years running), Rodrigo Lopez, and Nick Ross utterly remake a poor midfield, and there’ve been similar veteran additions at every position. Douglas Martinez has to come good to put Sacramento over the top, but I believe in him; think back to that 2019 Real Monarchs team he helped drag to a title. This team is too strong in every facet, and I haven’t even hit on the defensive talent characterized by old faces like Duke Lacroix and newbies like the enticing Irishman Lee Desmond or ex-Pittsburgh goalie Danny Vitiello. Expect big things here.
Meanwhile, Phoenix Rising has aptly replaced Solomon Asante with the deeply underrated Marcus Epps (98th percentile GAR), and you can easily imagine Arturo Rodriguez ascending to match the missing Jon Bakero’s impact; still, this team is a half-step worse than they were at this time in 2021. That said, the possessive, counterpressing Rising style, shifting from a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 in block to an offensive front five, is carried by a midfield that largely returns, and you’d be crazy to put Santi Moar and Kevon Lambert outside of the title race. Ben Lundt (98th percentile GAR in 2020) is an underratedly giant add in goal as well; he’s brilliant on his line, which fits a team that needs stops against the counter rather than an aggressive sweeper.
Louisville City comes next here, solidly second in the Eastern Conference. A traditional reliance on bold fullback play and a high-line has finally seen this team lean more fully into a three-at-the-back, and the pickups of Enoch Mushagalusa (96th percentile GAR), Wilson Harris (11th in goals in 2020), Ray Serrano, and others symbolizes the youth movement with names like Hoppenot and Souahy out. For all the adjustments, however, familiar faces like Cameron Lancaster (99th percentile xG, league-leading minutes-adjusted conversion) and Sean Totsch are going to stir the drink and cement Louisville as a bonafide contender. You can see the intensity of the system tiring out Paolo DelPiccolo and Corben Bone’s ever-aging legs in the middle of the three-man central setup, but both are too heady to fall off the cliff quite yet. Expect more greatness here too.
Two more Eastern teams have a title shout for me, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds are first among them. All-time leading scorer Dane Kelly’s transition to the Steel City might be the biggest transaction of the offseason, and he’ll be fully activated alongside Alex Dixon and Russell Cicerone and with Kenardo Forbes feeding him (all three rated in the 97th percentile or better for GAR). Still, three defensive starters are out the door, and Todd Wharton’s retirement is a big deal. Bob Lilley will have this team roaring by the summer, but the ‘Hounds aren’t without questions. Nevertheless, Lilley’s ability to swap between back threes and fours, employ flat lines of six in the midfield, and get every drop of talent out of his side leave you feeling good.
The Birmingham Legion, whose loss of Neco Brett up top is massive, is in a similar neighborhood to the Riverhounds on quality. If Edi Horvat comes good, then this team is for real; every other component here is elite. For one, they were the USL’s second-best defense in 2021, and Phanuel Kavita is immensely underrated as a defensive anchor. The Legion are powered in transition by right back Jonathan Dean (91st percentile xA) and do-everything central midfielder Andersion Asiedu; the latter is slept on by my numbers but is as good a box-to-box destroyer and recycler as any player in the United States. They’ve been joined higher up the pitch by Marlon’s physicality via Tulsa and Enzo Martinez’s incision by way of Charlotte. Still, I just fear for the scoring here, and I have a sneaking suspicion that we get an age-related Matt Van Oekel regression in goal. His Goals Saved Above Average jumped up more than a quartile from decent to elite last year, and he’s no spring chicken; either way, his team is legitimately a threat.