It has been a pretty good couple of weeks for the Charlotte Independence. Three weeks ago they went up to Rochester and pipped a point from the Rhinos making the Independence the first team to claim a point in Rochester this season in USL. Two weeks ago, Charlotte was able to take down a resurgent FC Montreal team that got them back to their winning ways this season. And last week they did something that no team had done this year in USL: beat the Rhinos. Needless to say it has been a good run for the Independence, but they need to keep that up as they head into the business end of the season and try and claim a playoff berth. That continues tonight as they take on New York Red Bulls II in a match dripping with playoff implications.
The goal for Charlotte: Win again at home.
The Eastern Conference Table:
|Louisville City FC||38||19||11||3||5|
|New York Red Bulls II||31||20||9||7||4|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||25||18||7||7||4|
|Saint Louis FC||22||20||5||8||7|
|Toronto FC II||15||17||4||10||3|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||12||20||2||12||6|
What to Watch for:
1) Keeping the Streak Going: Charlotte is 2-0-1 in their last three and have taken four of six points from Rochester in two of those. A win tonight would keep that nice run going and if Charlotte is going to get into the playoffs, it really is now or never for them.
2) The Schedule: Charlotte has 11 games left this season (including tonight) and five of those are against teams above them in the table. Those games are critical to help make up ground and make that playoff push. The good with all of this is that the team that is in sixth (Pittsburgh) has played 20 games and the Independence 17. But you have to win the games you can, and tonight is a winnable game.
3) Not All Home Cooking: The issue with all of this playoff talk is that Charlotte has yet to win on the road and 7 of their last 11 are away from Charlotte. This makes the home matches critical and winning all four at home would be huge. But it will probably not be enough. Charlotte will need to figure this out to have any hope of making it into the top six.
Referee: Dustin Thorne
Assistant Referees: Brian Bozard and Justin Finger
Fourth Official: Gustavo Solario
How to Watch:
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, April 5 at 5:30 PM MDT
Venue: Ramblewood Soccer Complex--Charlotte, North Carolina
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