The Charlotte Independence make the 3 1/2 hour drive to Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday to take on the Hammerheads in the second match for the Independence. As you remember, the Independence lost their franchise opener last week 3-2, but there was good reason for optimism. For large stretches of the match, specifically in the second half, the Independence were dominant but were unable to find the equalizer. As for the Hammerheads, they played to a 2-2 tie in their opener to Richmond Kickers last weekend in Wilmington.
Here are the stats and my thoughts on this match:
|Points||Games Played||Record||Goals For||Goals Against|
Previous Meetings: This is the first meeting for the two clubs.
What to Watch For:
1) The Back Four: in the first half against Charleston Battery, the Independence had all sorts of trouble dealing with the Battery. It was very clear that they were out of sorts from their spacing, man marking and ability to push the ball up the pitch. This will get better as they continue to gel in the back, and it is important to point out the Battery have a heck of an attack. (They have already scored 6 goals in two games). Against the Hammerheads I am hoping to see a more cohesive unit and not give up silly goals and breakaways against the keeper.
2) John Berner: speaking of the keeper, the Colorado Rapids loanee did not have is best stuff in the first half against Charleston. His decision making was not the best and that has got to improve. Again, he may have suffered from playing with a back four that was relatively new, but he needs to make better choices as to when to come out for the ball and he also must be the boss in the back and let his team know what he is doing.
3) That Offense: Charlotte is going to score goals. A lot of them in fact. I am looking to see how the scoring goes for the Independence against the Hammerheads as they were able to put two on the board in their first match. Charlotte was able to control the second half and could have had an equalizer. Chances are coming for the Independence and as long as they continue to create chances, the goals should flow in for them.
How to Watch:
Match Date/Time: Friday, April 3 at 5PM MDT
Venue: Legion Stadium--Wilmington, North Carolina
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