Charlotte Independence blowout FC Cincinnati at Sportsplex 4-1

Independence Alex Martinez hustling for ball. (Ed Berti)

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The Charlotte Independence blowout the United Soccer League Eastern Division leader 4-1 on Saturday night in front of a loud and appreciative sell out crowd at the Matthews Sportsplex.

Jacks Jung-soo Lee matriculating ball down field. (Ed Berti)

The Independence applied pressure on Cincinnati from the opening through 20 minutes of the game getting three shots on goal.  The Jacks outstanding forward Jorge Herrera at 2:43, Cordell Cato at 4:13, and Kay Voser at 19:50.  Then at 29:04 Herrera had a shot blocked, and Cato at 29:08.  Meanwhile, Cincinnati only had two shots on target at 21:00 and 22:00 minutes.  However, the Jacks controlled the tempo of the game and kept applying pressure on their opponent to score the first goal.

Jacks Cordell Cato and Joel Johnson on the attack near goal. (Ed Berti)


Finally, all the hard work paid off when Cordell Cato at 38:00 minutes into the first half scored on a rocket past the Cincinnati goalkeeper for a 1-0 Independence lead.  Jorge Herrera picked up the assist.  Then suddenly at 45:00 plus Yann Ekra shot a smash from outside the box into the right corner past the goalkeeper who appeared to be blocked as he reacted slowly to the shot, the ball went swiftly into the net for a huge 2-0 advantage as the first half ended.

Jacks Cordell Cato celebrates goal with teammate Yann Ekra. (Charlotte Independence)

FC Cincinnati is a good team and they started the second half strong with a goal at the 51st minute when Emmanuel Ledesma made a nice pass to midfielder Danni Konig, who faked Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller by going around him and slapped the ball into an empty net to make the score 2-1 with plenty of time for a comeback.

However, the Independence continued to play hard and answered back with a big goal by Kay Voser, his first of the season at the 57th minute to give the Jacks a 3-1 cushion.  Forward Jorge Herrera made the key pass to Voser for the assist.  With a lot of up and down field action and some chippy contact by both teams Jacks forward Eamon Zayed added the crushing goal at the 87th minute to ice the victory for the Independence.

Zayed was pleased scoring the first goal for his new club that secured the win when he said “I was delighted to make a contribution, scoring the first goal is always the hardest and it’s a massive relief seeing the ball hit the back of the net.”

Cordell Cato on the attack. (Ed Berti)

Coach Mike Jeffries was pleased with his teams effort, “It was nice to see different guys step up and get goals,” said Jeffries.  The Jacks are now 3-3-2 on the season with 11 points.

Little Alba all dressed for the opening ceremony. (Ed Berti)

The team will start a huge five game road trip next week when they travel to the Ontario Soccer Center to take on Toronto FC II.  The Jacks previously defeated Toronto at home 2-0 early in the season.  Charlotte will return home on June 16th to take on the Charleston Battery at 7:30 pm at the Sportsplex in Matthews.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran’s affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.