It is make or break time for the Charlotte Independence as they head up the road to take on New York Red Bulls II in a what has to be considered a must win if the Independence are going to qualify for the playoffs. This match comes on the heels of a 2-2 tie last weekend in Charlotte and it concludes the season series against Red Bulls II.
The Goal for Charlotte: Pick up a point, but really a win is critical
What to Watch For
1) A Must Win (Maybe, Kinda, Yeah): The Independence are seven points from the sixth place team (the Riverhounds) and although they have three games in hand, they cannot afford to drop points in this one. Charlotte is the only team in the Eastern Conference and one of two teams to not win on the road. And if turns out that Charlotte ends up missing the playoffs, this will be the reason why.
2) But Those Games In Hand: Yeah, I get the argument about Games In Hand, but it is a flawed in many ways. You can say "but we have three games in hand" but whenever you do that you are predicating your argument that the team in question takes full points. It is important to remember that Charlotte is averaging 1.33 points per game and if that run of form continues they are only adding four points to their total. That is not enough to get it done.
3) So Why a Must Win: Win today and you are within four points of Pittsburgh with a week and a half to prepare for a home-at-home series between the two clubs. Win today and you are four points from them with six points on the table against the team you are chasing in the following two matches. Bottom line: Get this done lads.
4) Dominique Badji: The young Colorado Rapids striker had a brace last week against New York and was named to the USL team of the week.
The Eastern Conference Table
|Louisville City FC||38||20||11||4||5|
|New York Red Bulls II||32||22||9||8||5|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||28||19||8||7||4|
|Saint Louis FC||22||21||5||9||7|
|Toronto FC II||15||18||4||11||3|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||15||21||3||12||6|
Referee: Jaime Herrera
Assistant Referees: Tom Felice and Ash Kamel
Fourth Official: Andrew Eitel
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, August 12 at 5:30 PM MDT
Venue: Red Bull Arena--Harrison, New Jersey
On Line Viewing: