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Hamblin: Expect another tight contest in Charlotte

It’s another clash of Eastern Titans this weekend as Louisville City travels to Charlotte to take on the very competitive Independence at Sportplex at Matthews. Let’s dive into the keys to this exciting game!

Charlotte:

Charlotte currently sit in 2nd place through 19 games of action with 36 points (10-3-6 record).  This team is very talented and has found good form this year after several years as mid-table team. They have what it takes to win it all in the USL. So what makes this team so talented?

First it’s their attacking prowess on the ball. When they have possession they don’t give it up easily, and they can be very lethal with 37 goals scored. Enzo Martinez and Jorge Herrera making up their devastating attack (21 goals and 9 assists between them). Their play makes this Independence team a force to be reckoned with.

Secondly, their defense is solid allowing just 21 goals through 19 games, an average of 1.1  goals a game ( LCFC is 0.9). So Charlotte doesn’t have any clear weaknesses.

However, the final key maybe the most important. If Enzo Martinez and Jorge Herrera are not getting good service, Charlotte looks very vulnerable on the counter and in the midfield. Charlotte will need to lock this down and get them great service if they want to score goals and win at home.

Louisville City:

This is another massive three points as Charleston has drawn three and lost two in the last five games. Three points here would put us back on top, or at least clawing at their heels. So what are the keys for LCFC?

It starts with the defense. We have to make it annoying for Charlotte in the final third of the pitch. Take Herrera and Martinez out of the equation, like we did at Slugger Field, and there is no reason three points cannot be secured.

The next key is to get out on the counter. A lot of Charlotte’s goals conceded came off of quick counters with wingers running off the shoulder of their defense. Mark-Anthony Kaye, Ballard, or whoever is on the flanks can hopefully get free and bury the result.

The final key for LouCity is to control possession in the midfield. We usually do, but these games against top-table talent are where it is most important.  We do this and play our game, Charlotte will have a hard time keeping up in the midfield.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Both teams are only separated by one point and are too close for my predictions. A tie is most likely, but who knows? Both teams have surprised this year with some results so maybe we can get the W. We certainly need it if we want that sweet trophy at the end of the season! COME ON CITY!!!