Match Preview: Strikers vs Indy Eleven
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers return home on Saturday, April 26th at 7:30 p.m. as they take on their second NASL expansions club in three weeks. Indy Eleven will visit Lockhart Stadium in their first away game, after securing two ties in their first two matches at home.
The Strikers are coming off a 4-1 loss vs Carolina RailHawks in Cary, North Carolina. Enzo Martinez and Zack Schilawski each had two goals and Schilawski added an assist to help extend their home unbeaten streak to 17 games.
The RailHawks first goal came in the 27th minute when Carolina was awarded a penalty kick, which Martinez converted. The home team made it 2-0 in the 40th minute when Tiyi Shipilane capitalized on a misplayed ball by Strikers defender Justin Chavez and made a placed a through-ball to Schilawski who doubled the score on a great shot to take a 2-0 lead.
After going into the lockerroom down 2-0, the Strikers came out strong were able to cut Carolina’s lead just two minutes into the second half. Chris Nurse found a ball that bounced around inside the box and put it away in the back of the net for what turned out to be the Strikers only goal of the match. In the 72nd minute, Schilawski played Martinez into space and the midfielder converted for his second goal of the night. Just four minutes later, Schilawski scored his second of the night to close out the scoring.
Coach Kronsteiner- “We have to win this game against Indy. We had a tough loss in Carolina. We didn’t play that bad, we just made a few bad decisions that cost us the goals. Now we have to look past it and put in a good performance at home. Indy has a good team; Kleberson is a great player, so they’ll be tough. But we know it’s important to get a good result in this short season.”
The game will be available online through NASLLive.com and sofloradio.com.
Season stats- Goals: Rafael Alves, Darnell King, Chris Nurse (1); Assists: Mark Anderson (1)
Profiling Indy Eleven
Off the field the NASL expansion side are making waves, with two sellout crowds in excess of 10,000 fans (the home opener had an over-capacity crowd of 11,048). On the field, the Eleven are without a win or a defeat, posting a 0-2-0 record having picked up 1-1 draws in both matches. In the first-ever match, the team dropped a 1-0 lead to the Carolina RailHawks. Last weekend the side earned a point with a late equalizer against Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Indy Coach Juergen Sommer fielded the exact same starting eleven in both of the club's matches. The team plays in a 4-2-3-1 formation similar to the Strikers setup.
The solid pairing of Brad Ring and Kleberson control the midfield for Indy Eleven. Ring has earned rave reviews from fans following his performances in the first two matches, while World Cup-winner Kleberson, his midfield partner, has slotted into the team seamlessly. Mike Ambersley, A.J. Corrado, and Kristian Nicht have all earned spots on the NASL Team of the Week, and Honduras national team defender Erick Norales is one of three players in the league to make the team both weeks.
NASL Team of the Week 2
Solid performance in the midfield and a NASL Play of the Week goal secured a spot on the NASL Team of the Week selection for Chris Nurse. Nurse’s goal came just two minutes into the second half as he found the ball inside the box and put it into the back of the net for the Strikers lone goal in Carolina.
Stéphane Guillaume (knee injury) is expected to be out until the Fall season.
Rafael Alves is a doubt after being forced off through injury at halftime of the season opener.
Referee- Daniel Fitzgerald; Assistant Referees- Lance Vanhaitsma, Paul Berg; Fourth Official- Jose da Silva
Players to watch:
9 – Martín Nuñez – Nuñez, who led the Strikers in goals scored in 2013, will be looking to score his first against Indy Eleven. Standing at only 5’7”, the crafty Uruguayan uses his quickness to get behind the defenders and find his way to the ball, scoring three of his team–leading five goals on headers in 2013.
6 – Chris Nurse – Nurse is coming off a solid game, scoring the Strikers only goal in their loss against Carolina. His goal was selected by fans as the NASL Play of the Week and he was named to the NASL Team of the Week for week two.
This marks the first time the two teams face each other
2014 Indy Eleven Record – 0W-2T-0L
Record against expansion teams:
2012 at San Antonio: 2-2 Draw
2013 at NY Cosmos: 2-1 Loss
2014 vs Ottawa: 2-0 Win
The Strikers travel to Edmonton to take on FC Edmonton on Saturday, May 3rd at 9:00PM. The Strikers next home match will be on May 10th against the Atlanta Silverbacks. Lockhart Stadium to take on another of the NASL’s newest team, Indy Eleven on Saturday April 26th at 7:30PM.