The Charlotte Independence continue with their inconsistent on the field performance. The team has only produced one win in the past two months leaving them in tenth place in the USL Eastern Conference Standings.
The Jacks have played well at times during this stretch, however, they continue to struggle both offensively and defensively inside the box. A team like the Bethlehem Steel who is a good possession and counterattack club took full advantage of the Jacks defensive breakdowns with a 3-0 rout on our home field. Also, the Jacks have a difficult time responding when they don’t score the first goal. In fact the visitors took control of the game early when they scored only seven minutes into the contest when James Chambers drilled a shot past goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra off a second rebound.
After the game, Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries was not a happy camper. “Tonight was unacceptable, just an unacceptable performance,” said Jeffries. “As the leader of the group, I take responsibility for the preparation, the guys mentally and being ready, but tonight, we were very poor at the beginning of the game. We could have been down a few goals before the game even started. The mentality of the group hasn’t quite been sharp enough going through this stretch.”
Jeffries went on to say, “It’s been the story of the season. We can’t afford to be down 1-0 and chase the game against a team that lives off the counterattack and has tremendous pace. For us, that’s been the gist of the season, we’ve not really been dynamic enough in the final third. Tonight we probably had a lot of shots 17, but we never hit the target.”
The defense seems to be one step behind inside the box to give the teams solid goalkeeper a better chance to make the save. They don’t seem to be able to clear the ball out of the zone fast enough to prevent a second or third opportunity at times off the initial shot or save. This challenge showed up again when midfielder Omar Holness found the back of the net at the 74th minute. Then Drew Skundrich added the clinching goal at the 89th minute for the blowout win.
The Independence will travel to Pittsburgh to play the Riverhounds on Saturday August 18th. The team will return back to the Sportsplex at Matthews on Wednesday August 22nd to face Louisville City FC at 7:30 pm.