Keep Your Enemy Closer: Indy Eleven

Oct 12, 2017

MIAMI (October 11, 2017) - The Miami FC begins a two-match road trip in Indianapolis, where they will take on Indy Eleven for the fourth time this season on Saturday, October 14 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium. 

Fall Blues
Overall, 2017 has been a year to forget for Indy, but the Fall Season has been an especially tough pill to swallow.

After drawing eight out of 16 matches and finishing with a respectable -1 goal differential in the spring, Indy has lost half of its matches and currently sports a -11 goal differential in the fall.

The Eleven's astoundingly low goal differential and 25 goals given up are both league-worst marks. Its goal differential, in particular, ranks worst in the NASL by a whopping seven goals.

Indy made it to the NASL Championship match last season, but this squad is a far cry from the unit that was so successful just one year ago.

Lopsided Affairs
Miami and Indy have faced off six times in the past, with Miami holding a commanding 4-1-1 series lead over its midwestern rivals.

The two teams symmetrically split their three matches in 2016 with a 2-1 win each and a 0-0 draw, but this season has been a different story.

The Orange and Blue has won all three of its encounters with Indy in 2017, scoring eight goals and giving up just two while picking up nine points.

Indy is traditionally much tougher to beat on their stomping grounds, but Miami has already done so with a 2-0 win earlier this season. 

Players to Watch
After spending much of 2016 as a super-sub and part-time starter, Don Smart has become a full-fledged starter in 2017 and is showing his full potential.

Smart is coming off arguably the best match of his career, in which he thumped home one of the goals of the year and notched an assist to boot. 

A winger with speed always available in his reserves, the 29-year-old Jamaican can do it all, be it corssing, passing, or scoring.

With four matches left in the season, Smart has already tied his goals and assists numbers from last season, has taken more shots and will surpass his minutes played number with ease.

A defender by title, Marco Franco is much more than that. 

Indy has played 28 matches and Franco has started in 26 of them, and has contributed in more ways than just defending.

A threat to get forward at any time from his right back position, Franco has dished out five assists this season, which is tied for second-most in the league with seven other players.

In prime form, Franco has recorded two of those five assists in consecutive matches. 

Up Next
The Miami FC travels to Canada to play FC Edmonton on Saturday, October 21 before returning home for the season finale against Edmonton on Saturday, October 28.