Two weeks in a row, a Columbus Crew SC loanee makes a big impact in his debut. This week Alex Crognale was dominating on defense in his first start in for Indy Eleven. Winger Edward Opoku made his Birmingham debut as a second half sub on Sunday morning after the team’s game was postponed in the torrential rains that came through Columbus on Saturday evening. Goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard was in the 18 as the backup for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Aboubakar Keita was injured and not with the Richmond Kickers for their first game of USL League One.
Crognale was a towering figure in his loan debut. He helped Indy win and keep a clean sheet during the team’s 2019 home opener in front of a franchise record 20,251 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Crognale’s performance was called Man of the Match calibre by the team’s website. The Crew Homegrown product celebrated the win with a picture of him on the ball in a social media post.
The full loan report is below:
Alex Crognale - Indy Eleven
March 30 - Crognale started and played 90 minutes in Indy’s 1-0 win against Hartford Athletic. He was 37 of 42 passing, made two tackles, two interceptions, seven clearances and created a chance on offense.
Next game is April 15 against the Swope Park Rangers
Aboubakar Keita - Richmond Kickers
March 30 - The rookie defender was not with the Kickers for their first game of 2019, a 3-2 loss to Lansing Ignite FC. Instead, Keita is currently with the Crew after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty with the U.S. Under-20 National Team. It is undetermined when he will return on loan to Richmond.
Next game is April 6 against Tormenta FC in Statesboro, Georgia
Ben Lundgaard - Pittsburgh Riverhounds
March 30 - Lundgaard was an unused sub in the Hounds’ 2-2 tie against Bethlehem Steel.
Next game is April 6 at Louisville City FC
Edward Opoku - Birmingham Legion
March 31 - Opoku came on as a second half sub in the 69th minute as Birmingham led 2-1 against Louisville City FC. The second-year player was eight for eight in passing, but didn’t record a shot as the visiting Louisville side came out 3-2 winners.
Next Game is April 6 home against New York Red Bulls II