Indy Eleven heads into Week 5 of the Spring Season with a focus on using their wide players often, while North Carolina FC midfielder Nazmi Albadawi is showing why he accrued so many assists a season ago.
Here's some key stats before the weekend's matchups:
Indy Eleven has utilized the flanks more than any other side to start the year. The Boys in Blue have the top three players in attempted crosses – Nemanja Vukovic (22), Ben Speas (21), and Don Smart (16). Heading into Week 5, the San Francisco Deltas will have to be aware of the aerial threat a target like Justin Braun poses on aerial balls. FC Edmonton has tried to work the outsides with fullback Netan Sansara attempting 15 crosses. Eddies midfielder Dustin Corea has attempted 13, connecting on six of his 11 attempts against North Carolina FC last weekend.
North Carolina FC midfielder Nazmi Albadawi set a Modern Era single-season record with 10 assists. He has yet to record his first assist in 2017, but signs are trending that it will come sooner than later. Albadawi created seven chances in the club’s 3-1 win over FC Edmonton. It’s the most chances created for a player in a given week through the first four weeks of the season and currenly has the second most overall with nine. He did score his first goal of the year, using a feint to round an Edmonton defender before firing from distance. North Carolina heads on the road next to face Miami FC.
Jacksonville Armada FC midfielder Zach Steinberger may be known more for his attacking contributions, including a game-winning goal this year, but he is also contributing defensively. Steinberger has been successful with all nine of his tackles to begin the campaign. That’s the most tackles by a player to have 100 percent. Both Sansara and Steinberger’s teammate, Mechack Jérôme, have won all six of their attempts.