Charlotte Independence, 14-8-7, 49 points, 4th place Eastern Conference.
FORMAT CHANGE! Why do the “WHO” part in two different places when one will do? Tradition! But no more.
Charlotte is a good team. We know this; we’ve always known this. The Independence or the Jacks or whatever were the first USL team to beat Louisville City. Every match against them has been a tense affair, and each was decided by a single goal. Neither team has ever scored more than once against the other in a game. The last time these two teams met waaaaaay back on March 26 in Charlotte, it was a brilliant Cameron Lancaster free kick just before the whistle that kept that match from being a 0-0 draw.
What’s more, Charlotte has a lot more to play for in this game than Louisville does. Charleston Battery AND Rochester Rhinos sit just one point behind the Independence in the standings. A win could clinch fourth place for Charlotte (they can’t get third), while a draw or a loss could see them drop all the way to sixth in the standings.
Here’s what we know about Charlotte: They’re about .500 as a road team in the USL, which is pretty good – 21 points from 14 away games with five wins, six draws and just three losses. They’ve scored 21 away goals and only conceded 12. Over the course of this season they’ve fairly consistently outshot their opponents and taken 170 shots on goal while allowing 110. 30 of their 47 goals scored this season were assisted, so they’ve got some decent connectivity while in possession. Three players have at least four assists. The scoring load is also balanced, as five players have scored at least five goals led by Enzo Martinez with eight. Interestingly, they like to play a 4-3-3, which suits playing at Slugger but also kind of plays into City’s hands a bit. Tactics will be something to watch. If you’re into that sort of thing.
Louisville City’s last game of the USL regular season *sniff*
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Louisville Slugger Field, 401 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Just be there. Here’s the YouTubery just in case:
JAMES O’CONNOR’S MOSTLY RANDOM LINEUP GENERATOR(TM):
Louisville City: Ranjitsingh, Smith, Reynolds, Craig, Morad, Quinn (c), Abend, Kaye, Rasmussen, Dacres, Lancaster
Charlotte Independajacks: Berner, Duckett, Kalungi, Greenspan, Slogic, Clowes, E. Martinez, Hilton, Herrera, Estrada, Brown