The Charlotte Independence have a four game unbeaten streak going in the right direction as the team continues to make their run for a playoff spot in the USL Eastern Conference.
Goalkeeper Brandon Miller has been solid in the net during this September run. Veteran goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra was recalled by the Colorado Rockies and was not available for tonight’s match.
The Independence struck first when Greg Jordan scored on a smash into the net at the 15th minute to give the home team a quick 1-0 lead. The assist was provided by midfielder Conor O’Brien. However, the Jack’s did not generate much offense after the first half. The crucial and elusive second goal just did not happen to close out the game, to gain the 3 points the team needed to move up in the standings.
Instead in the second half the Red Bull’s pressured the defense and finally broke through at the 70th minute when Anatole Bertrand-Abang would tie the match. Bertrand-Abang would take advantage of a rebound finishing the attack slamming the goal past Miller in front of the net to even the score.
It appeared the defense had some tired legs and gave up another goal minutes later, but it was nullified by an off side call keeping the game tied. At the 73th minute, coach Jeffries would substitute and install scoring leader Jorge Herrera into the game who is getting close to going the full 90 minutes. Herrera is certainly ready to contribute 45 or more minutes. The team needs his experience, leadership and scoring capability to make a serious run for a playoff spot.
“We look at tonight as two big points dropped, a missed opportunity, said Independence coach Mike Jeffries. There’s no question, it hurts a little more because we played so well early on and had a strong foothold on the game scoring first and not be able to maintain the lead. The guys fought and competed throughout so credit for that, but the breaks did not go our way at the end”
We were informed defender Donnie Smith is going to be available this week and is working out full speed. Also, Cordell Cato is making good progress and may become available to make a contribution in a few weeks.
The Independence has four games remaining with two home games. They are in a must win situation against the tough third place Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, September 29th at 7:00 pm.