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Charlotte Independence v Charleston Battery: Match Preview

August 7, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Charlotte Independence News Release

CHARLOTTE - The Charlotte Independence take on the Charleston Battery at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday, August 8th at 7:00 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN+. The meeting between the Southern Derby rivals marks the Jacks' first home match in 294 days.

"It's great for us to finally be back at the Sportsplex at Matthews," said Independence Manager Mike Jeffries. "We have three big games in a row at home that will be a good chance for us to be back in a comfortable setting and find ways to win."

For the first time this season, the Independence dropped points and failed to score in a 4-1 defeat on the road against Birmingham Legion FC Wednesday night. With four points in three games, Mike Jeffries' side currently sit in fourth place in the USL Championship Group G standings but have two games in hand on Legion FC.

In their last match, the Battery earned one point in a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United 2 Wednesday evening thanks to a late goal by midfielder Mauro Cichero. Michael Anhaeuser's side currently sit in second place in the Group H standings, four points behind leaders Tampa Bay Rowdies.

"Charleston is always very good competition," said Jeffries. "They are disciplined organized, and physical."

"They defend very well. This year, more so than in the past, they are more possession-oriented and have put together some nice runs."

"They have a couple of dynamic, attacking options with strength, size, and pace up top. It will be a big test for us and be better at handling pressure and breaking the defense down."

LAST TIME THEY MET: The Independence and Battery last faced off in the 2019 USL Championship season on Friday, August 30th at the Sportsplex at Matthews in Matthews, N.C. The two Southern Derby rivals finished the match tied, 0-0, with the Jacks providing the best chance of the game in the 25th minute when forward Enzo Martinez connected with midfielder Valentin Sabella for a left-footed shot that was tipped away by Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky.

LAST MATCH: The Independence dropped points for the first time this season in a 4-1 defeat to Birmingham Legion FC in USL Championship, Group G play at BBVA Compass Field. Neco Brett, Bruno Lapa and Brian Wright scored for the home side to give Birmingham a cushion atop Group G.

The Jacks capped the scoring - a well-taken penalty kick conversion by Martinez - in the 76th minute. The goal was the first of the campaign for Martinez.

The two Group G opponents will meet again in a week as the Independence host Legion FC on Wednesday, August 12th at the Sportsplex at Matthews.

2020 CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE USL CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS: Lucas Hatsios, Brandon Miller, Austin Pack

DEFENDERS: Owen Barber, Clay Dimick, Shalom Dutey, Duke Lacroix, Aaron Maund, Dylan Mitchiner, Joel Johnson, Rey Ortiz, Hugh Roberts, Joey Skinner

MIDFIELDERS: Jake Areman, Junior Etou, Derek Gebhard, Kevan George, Luke Haakenson, Valentin Sabella, Oscar Ramsay

FORWARDS: Enzo Martinez, Tresor Mbuyu, Dane Kelly, Guido Valada

2020 CHARLESTON BATTERY USL CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS: Phil Breno, Darian McCauley

DEFENDERS: Temi Adesodun, Leland Archer, Jay Bolt, Rennico Clarke, Logan Gdula, Deshawon Nembhard, Kyle Nelson, AJ Paterson, Jarad Van Schaik

MIDFIELDERS: Mauro Cichero, James Cox, Robbie Crawford, Angelo Kelly, Dante Marini, Kierron Mason, Romario Piggot, Nico Rittmyer

FORWARDS: Arthur Bosua, Nicque Daley, Jesus Ibarra, Zeiko Lewis, Stavros Zarokostas

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

- Six players have scored for the Independence in the 2020 USL Championship: Enzo Maetrinez, Derek Gebhard, Luke Haakenson, Dane Kelly, Valentin Sabella (1)

- Two players have recorded at least one assist for the Independence this year: Martinez, Jake Areman (1)

- Independence forward Dane Kelly reached 12,500 regular-season minutes in Wednesday's match against Birmingham Legion FC. The Jamaica native became the 14th player in USL Championship history to record at least 12,500 minutes.

- Independence defender Joel Johnson reached 10,000 regular-season minutes in Wednesday's match against Legion FC.


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