The Rangers faced former NASL team Indy Eleven on the road in their fourth preseason game on Wednesday. SPR fought a hard battle, but were unable to fight back from an early goal notched by Indy in the first half and fell 2-0.
In the fourth minute, Indy Eleven forward Soony Saad was brought down inside the box resulting in a penalty kick. The ensuing penalty, taken by Eugene Starikov, found the back of the net and resulted in an early Indy goal in the fifth minute.
Hadji Barry tried to even the score in the ninth minute with a ball from Tyler Blackwood, but the goalkeeper was there with a save.
Indy Eleven tested the Rangers in the remainder of the half with multiple chances, but goalie Darrin MacLeod and a few wide shots from Indy kept the score at 1-0 until the cusp of halftime.
SPR had a chance to tie the score heading into the half, but Sebastian Cruz’s attempt in the 44th minute was cleared by an Indy defender. In the 45th minute, Indy capitalized on a free kick, headed home by Starikov, to increase their lead to 2-0.
Indy made it into the box in the 49th minute, but MacLeod scooped the ball up at the attacker’s feet to stop another goal.
In the 56th minute, Felipe Hernandez took a shot, but was blocked. Barry was there for a second attempt, but his shot went wide.
Some final chances for the Rangers in the second half all came up short and they were unable to get on the board. SPR will continue the preseason road trip with a match against Indiana University on Saturday for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff.
The Rangers return home for their final preseason game on March 10 after their two-game road stent in Indiana when they face off against UMKC at 2 p.m. CT at Swope Soccer Village.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Indy Eleven
February 28, 2018 – Grand Park Sports Complex (Indianapolis)
Swope Park Rangers 0, Indy Eleven 2
IND – Eugene Starikov (penalty kick) 5’
IND -- Eugene Starikov 45'
SPR - Sebastian Cruz (caution) 57’
Swope Park Rangers:
Darrin MacLeod; Will Little; Graham Smith (Massimo McGuire 60’); Dakota Barnathan (Kyle McLagan 45’); Parker Maher; Matheus Silva (Jahon Rad 60’); Felipe Hernandez (Roman Knox 60’); Sebastian Cruz (Rodrigo Saravia 60’); Tyler Blackwood (Jaylen Brown 45’); Hadji Barry (Sean Karani 60’); Camilo Benitez (Chase Minter 60’)