On a night where Loudoun United could have found themselves as high as fourth in the Eastern Conference with a win Saturday night, some 2022 demons reared their ugly heads again and handed the team a 2-1 loss to Indy Eleven. So the team is (as of Saturday night) in 7th in the East, following their first loss when giving up a lead, and slipping to under .500 for the first time this season. So, let’s ramble!
One Thing I Can’t Not Talk About.
OK, let’s do this:
The missed goal was the cherry on a black forest cake of terrible officiating by Danielle Chesky. In the span of 40 minutes of gametime, this was the end, while in the first half, a ball clearly bounced off former Loudoun/current Indy defender Robby Dambrot, and in the second, Loudoun defender Daniel Chica stepped on Indy forward Solomon Asante. Both fouls occurred in the penalty area, both deserved penalties, both got nothing. After the second goal, a ball that should have been a backpass on Indy (and a Loudoun freekick) got crickets.
I get that second division soccer is a lower fidelity creature, but PRO has stepped up to egregious performances before, and this was certainly up there. While (to my knowledge) they haven’t done so in the lower divisions before, this would be a good start. And if it’s not addressed, then any semblance of accountability is lost.
Two things I liked.
This work by Kalil ElMedkhar.
Everything about his work in this sequence, the flick/dummy, turning around and calling for it on the support run, and the volley. Kid’s a whole bunch of fun and only going to get better as the team does.
For rotation, not bad.
With the Open Cup coming Wednesday, Ryan Martin gave initial starts for 2023 to Jeremy Garay (2 chances created), Abdoul Zanne (2 tackles, created chance) and most importantly, sat Yanis Leerman and paired Bryce Washington with Leesburg native Daniel Chica, one of three Loudoun players with their first starts of 2023. And they combined for 7 tackles, 7 clearances, a interception and blocked shot, and missed 11 of 131 passes on the night. Chica had to go off late to injury which dropped Koa Santos inside and well, the communication breakdown moments later that resulted in the game-winner. Academy player Dash Papez would have been the next one up, but given the fixtures over the next couple of weeks, Loudoun’s going to maybe hope to beef up center back depth. On the whole? The fresher legs did good work against a veteran side, which is encouraging.
One thing I was worried by
This could make things tricky
Indy’s a veteran side, they’ve got guys who are going to keep playing, and the longer Loudoun held a one-goal lead (right or wrong) the longer Indy was going to find a way into it and they did that with the tying goal by Sebastian Guenzatti. The winning goal was a little fluky in that the header looked like more of a probe attempt, but it still counts as a goal and a loss.
So now what?
Well, now they get ready to host the first MLS team to play their for something of value when the Columbus Crew come to town for the U.S. Open Cup. They then go on the road to play El Paso (unbeaten in their last five) before hosting New Mexico midweek, then going back on the road to Hartford. While the Open Cup game is irrelevant to their USL campaign, any sort of thumping would give Loudoun their third loss in a row and a likely fourth this time next week.
Check This Stat
9 – The number of yellow cards vs. 8 (the number of shots on target)
Indy Eleven 2 – Loudoun United FC 1
LDN – Kalil ElMedkhar (Santos) 6’
IND – Sebastian Guenzatti (Boudadi) 73’
IND – Juan Tejada (Martinez) 90’
IND – Jesus Vazquez (caution) 30’
LDN – Abdoul Zanne (caution) 37’
IND – Robby Dambrot (caution) 45’
LDN – Jeremy Garay (caution) 45+2’
IND – Cam Lindley (caution) 56’
IND – Adrian Diz Pe (caution) 65’
LDN – Kalil ElMedkhar (caution) 70’
IND – Aodhan Quinn (caution) 89’
Indy Eleven line-up (4-3-3): Yannik Oettl; Younes Boudadi, Jesus Vazquez (Mechack Jerome 45’), Adrian Diz Pe, Robby Dambrot; Cam Lindley (Harrison Robledo 71’), Jake Black, Aodhan Quinn; Douglas Martinez, Solomon Asante (Gustavo Rissi 90+5′), Sebastian Guenzatti (Captain) (Juan Tejada 82’)
Indy subs: Tim Trilk (GK)
Loudoun United line-up (4-4-2): Hugo Fauroux; Laukoa Santos, Daniel (Chica Houssou Landry 88’), Bryce Washington, Gaoussou Samake; Abdoul Zanne (Panos Armenakas 76’), Aidan Rocha, Jeremy Garay, Kalil ElMedkhar; Tommy Williamson (Wesley Leggett 69’), Zach Ryan
Loudoun subs: Dane Jacomen, Dash Papez, Abdoul Koanda, Juan Ramirez