Charlotte Independence v Memphis 901 FC: Match Preview
CHARLOTTE - The Charlotte Independence face Memphis 901 FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN+. The Jacks host Memphis in what will be their final home fixture of the regular season.
WATCH - 7 p.m. ET: Watch CLTvMEM live on ESPN+
After being held to a 0-0 draw against Miami FC on Wednesday, the Independence have a chance to secure a third USL Championship postseason berth with a win or a draw against Memphis 901 FC. With two matches remaining, the Jacks also have a chance to secure home-field advantage in the postseason but will need to finish ahead of Birmingham Legion FC in the Group standings.
"All season it's been one game at a time and dealing with what's in front of us and I think that's the thought to process heading into Saturday," said Independence head coach Mike Jeffries. "It's a quick turn around and unfortunately Memphis 901 FC are going to be really fresh coming in."
In their last match, Memphis 901 FC lost on Sunday evening 4-1 against Louisville City FC. Following the loss in Louisville, Memphis is officially ruled out of playoff contention. Memphis recently made a coaching change, replacing Tim Mulqueen with Ben Pirmann as Interim Head Coach.
"Making the playoffs has been our goal from the beginning of the season, to get back in," said Independencegoalkeeper Brandon Miller. "It's been too long since we've been [to the playoffs] so that's our main focus on Saturday."
LAST TIME OUT: The Independence had everything but the winner Wednesday night at the Sportsplex at Matthews as they drew 0-0 against Miami FC.
With the draw, the Independence (7-3-4; 25 points), moved into a tie with Birmingham Legion FC (7-3-4; 25 points) atop the Group G standings, followed by North Carolina FC (4-7-1; 13 points) and Memphis 901 FC (2-7-4; 10 points).
LAST TIME THEY MET: Charlotte and Memphis 901 FC most recently met earlier this month on Saturday, Sept. 3 at AutoZone Park in Memphis. The Independence utilized an own goal and a strike from Luke Haakenson to defeat Memphis 901 FC 2-0.
The game's first chance served as a pivotal moment. After the Independence conceded a penalty in the eighth minute, Jacks 'keeper Brandon Miller denied Memphis 901 FC forward Keanu Marsh-Brown from the spot to keep the score level. Miller would go on to make four more saves in the match, giving him a league-leading 47 saves.
The Jacks eventually broke through late in the first half. A 32nd minute corner kick from Jake Areman bounced off a Memphis 901 FC defender at the penalty spot and went beyond the reach of Memphis netminder Tim Howard for the opening goal.
Just before halftime, the Jacks doubled its lead as Aaron Maund found Haakenson on the counter who tucked in the game's second goal to give the Independence a 2-0 advantage heading into the break. The goal marked Haakenson's third tally of the season and Maund's second assist.
SERIES HISTORY (W-L-D)
Independence Record vs. Memphis 901 FC: (4-0-1)
Independence Home Record vs. Memphis 901 FC: (3-0-0)
Independence Away Record vs. Memphis 901 FC: (1-0-1)
Leading Scorer(s): Dane Kelly (10)
Assist Leader(s): Jake Areman, Joel Johnson (3)
Goals Per Game: 1.57
Saves Per Game: 3.85
Goals Against Average: 1.4
Shots on Target Per Game: 4.64
MEMPHIS 901 FC
Leading Scorer(s): Cal Jennings(4)
Assist Leader(s): Gonzalez, McCabe, Burch, Segbers (2)
Goals Per Game: 1.38
Saves Per Game: 2.23
Goals Against Average: 2.2
Shots on Target Per Game: 3.15
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, Hugh Roberts, Joey Skinner
MIDFIELDERS: Jake Areman, Junior Etou, Derek Gebhard, Kevan George, Luke Haakenson, Rey Ortiz, Valentin Sabella, Oscar Ramsay
FORWARDS: Christian Chaney, Enzo Martinez, Tresor Mbuyu, Dane Kelly, Guido Valada
2020 MEMPHIS 901 FC USL CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS: Jim Barkei, Jimmy Hague, Tim Howard
DEFENDERS: Rece Buckmaster, Marc Burch, Zach Carroll, Liam Doyle, Triston Hodge, Jackson Morse, Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, Mark Segbers
MIDFIELDERS: Jose Baxter, Raul Gonzalez, Jean-Christophe Koffi, Rafael Mentzingen, Dan Metzger, Tommy McCabe, Duane Muckette, Leston Paul, Michael Reed
FORWARDS: Brandon Allen, Pierre Da Silva, Matt Hundley, Cal Jennings, Keanu Marsh-Brown
- Eight players have scored for the Independence in the 2020 USL Championship: Dane Kelly (10), Luke Haakenson (3), Derek Gebhard, Enzo Martinez (2), Jake Areman, Aaron Maund, Rey Ortiz, Valentin Sabella (1)
- After reaching double-digit goals this season (10), Kelly has reached double-digit goals in a season for the sixth time in his career, the most of any player in the Championship's history.
- With his hat trick against North Carolina FC, Kelly now holds the record with the most hat tricks in league history (4).
- Nine players have recorded at least one assist for the Independence this year: Joel Johnson, Areman (3), Aaron Maund, Haakenson, (2), Guido Vadala, Gebhard, Kelly, Martinez, Sabella (1)
- Seven players have recorded a goal and an assist for the Jacks this season: Areman, Gebhard, Haakenson, Kelly, Martinez, Maund, Sabella
- Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller's 54 saves is ranked first in the Championship this season.
- Miller became the fifth player in the Championship's history to record 35 regular season shutouts. He has four total this season and 37 in his career.
- Martinez, Miller, Duke Lacroix, and Hugh Roberts are the only players to play all 1,260 minutes for the Jacks this season thus far.
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