Preview: The Loons (1-0-0), coming off a strong start in their 5-1 season-opening victory against Carolina, go on the road for the first of home-and-home matches with North American Soccer League spring season champion Indy Eleven (0-0-1). Their last visit to Indy, a 4-2 loss, started a three-game losing streak that knocked the Loons from first place to out of spring season title contention.
Head-to-head: United holds a 4-3 lead in the series between the two teams. Indy has won the past two matches, both at Carroll Stadium.
About United: Forward Christian Ramirez scored a hat trick against Carolina to take over the league lead with eight goals and earn NASL player of the week honors. United got off to a big start last week to take a 3-0 lead into halftime. But the team has a lackluster record on turf, and needs to find a way to counter Indy’s ability to score late. “I really thought we were in the right position and were good enough to go back and win it,” United Coach Carl Craig said of the game against Indy. “There was a call by the referee that got them right back in the game because we had full momentum. ”
About Indy: The team has not lost a match this year, trailing late in games several times and finding ways to force draws. Last weekend, playing on the road against Puerto Rico FC in its first league game, Indy salvaged a 1-1 draw in second-half injury time when one of the club’s new signings, Souleymane Youla, headed in a free kick from Nemanja Vukovic to tie the game. Eamon Zayed leads Indy with six goals, second in the league behind Ramirez. Vukovic has a team-leading three assists. “That momentum of not having lost creates confidence,” Craig said. “They are a very well-organized team and they have bags of confidence; I’m mindful of that and we’ll approach it different than the last time.”