The Charlotte Independence picked up a huge win at home against Nashville SC with a 1-0 victory and obtaining three important points in a conference match. The team over the past seven games has not won a match while having 5 draws and 2 losses so this win was very meaningful in many ways for the team.
Kevan George a defensive specialist scored his first goal of the season to give his teammates a big boost to snap the seven game winless drought. He scored the goal at the 42nd minute when Jorge Herrera placed an almost perfect free kick into the right side of the net, the goalkeeper made a diving finger tip save, on the rebound Cordell Cato lofted a pass toward the corner left post, George hit a hard smash into the net past the Nashville goalkeeper for the only goal of the game. Cato picked up the assist which was his third of the season.
Head Coach Mike Jeffries said “I think there was a mentality going into tonight’s game we knew it wasn’t going to be easy at all” He continued “Nashville is a very good team and can move the ball, however, we felt like with the group we had available has a lot of heart, and a lot of fight, they came out and showed it. This win gives credit to the guys defensively for the energy and effort they put in.”
Independence goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra also had a very solid game in the net for the Jacks. He had several key saves that earned him the clean sheet and player of the game. The last time the team enjoyed a clean sheet was against Ottawa on June 2nd at home. Dykstra really stepped up in the second half when Nashville pulled out all stops to score. The visitors took 14 shots including 8 blocked shots and he was up to the challenge completely frustrating his opponent.
Due to a Red Card one game suspension to Bilal Duckett, midfielder Greg Jordan had to play center back and did a fine job in filling in for the team. Jordan had played this position previously, however, it’s been a number of years since he played it in a professional match.
The Independence have a bye weekend off, however, will return to action on the road to face league leading Cincinnati on Wednesday, July 18th. The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN 2. The Jacks defeated Cincinnati 4-1 earlier this season at home.