Cover Photo Credit: Rob Kinnan-NCFC
North Carolina FC at Indy Eleven — 7:30 PM EST Saturday June 24, 2017
In their third game in seven days, NCFC gave previously winless Indy Eleven their first victory of the NASL Spring Season. It was always going to be a tough task for NCFC to go there with a fatigued and/or injured squad and grab a win or a draw, but it is disappointing to drop points to an Indy squad that was not impressive.
Colin Clarke made five changes to the side from the team that faced Houston earlier in the week. Connor Tobin came back from injury to regain his place in the center of defense, while Kareem Moses, Matt Fondy, Bolu Akinyode, and Brian Shriver rounded out the changes. Dre Fortune also made his debut later in the game.
Fondy is going through a rough time right now, unfortunately. In his 11 NASL appearances, he has only scored 3 and is currently averaging about 293.7 minutes per goal. And I totally hate it for the guy. He’s been getting in good positions and getting off shots, but nothing is going in for him right now. Against Indy Eleven, I feel like Clarke waited a bit too long to bring on Billy Schuler off the bench. It’s a tough call to make because Fondy CAN score that equalizing goal and Schuler played the entire 120 minutes against Houston, but once NCFC went down there needed to be a change.
— North Carolina FC (@NorthCarolinaFC) June 22, 2017
Enough of the sad talk: let’s talk about about Nazmi Albadawi. I mentioned last week that the NCFC captain shone against Houston in the US Open Cup game, and possibly turned some MLS heads his way. He followed up that performance with another amazing outing against Indy Eleven. As Turbo mentioned on the podcast this week, the NCFC midfield totally outplayed Indy’s. The midfielder, on his 100th appearance for the club, distributed well and created a couple of chances. I forgot the name of the Indy midfielder but this gentleman got turned by Nazmi multiple times on Saturday. If his shot in the first half had not been miraculously saved by the Indy goalkeeper with the dumb hat, this result would have been different and you would have had a happy JP in the previous paragraphs.
Luckily, NCFC gets another match with Indy at home to get the bad taste out of everyone’s mouths and start picking up points to end this month-long skid of no wins in NASL play. I think coming back to WakeMed with some rest ( and some team-bonding bowling ) will get this team back on track. I see an Indy demolition in the future.
Players To Watch:
Justin Braun, Indy Eleven : He scored the first goal for Indy against NCFC and it was a terrible goal. I also didn’t realize how big he is (6’3″ according to his wiki) and how dumb his ponytail looks on him. There’s only one person who can have an acceptable ponytail in NASL and his name is Matthew Ryan Fondy.
Billy Schuler, NCFC: He has been clinical off the bench and impressive in the past few games he has started (including a Top Play on Sportscenter). He was rested for the most of the game against Indy, but I think if he starts he will give that Indy backline a different dynamic.
Predicted Outcome: 3-0 NCFC.
Song of the Week
Question of the Week
What is your biggest pet peeve? – Mark
It used to be disruptive people at movie theaters, but I’ve solved that problem recently (you will love the new one in Raleigh). I just never got it – why would you pay money to sit in the dark and talk to someone/play on your phone the entire time while there’s something entertaining going on that other people are trying to enjoy? The only time it was acceptable was when my buddy got too scared in the first Saw that he started playing an X-Men game on his phone.
My new pet peeve is people who walk their dog without a leash in public places. We get it, your dog is fucking awesome and well-behaved. You are such a good trainer. For the rest of us plebians, we follow the rules and keep our dogs on a leash because it’s the right thing to do. The worst is when I’m walking with my dog (who is pretty hot and cold when it comes to other dogs while he’s being walked – mostly hot) and I turn the corner and there’s a dog off leash coming up. The owner then says “Hey, it’s ok. My dog is super friendly.” Once again: congratulations guy, you have a gregarious pup. My dog is pretty cool too, except when strange dogs are in his grill.
You can find JP on Twitter at @jp_rcs. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org