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 Charlotte Independence

Independence Drop Jägermeister Cup Match to Forward Madison

May 11, 2024 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
Charlotte Independence News Release

CHARLOTTE, NC - The Charlotte Independence fell 1-2 to Forward Madison FC in Round 2 of the USL Jägermeister Cup on Saturday afternoon at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The Jacks are back home on Friday, May 17 against Union Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets at


Forward Madison took an early lead in the 2nd minute off a goal by #9 Christian Chaney.

The Jacks had numerous chances in the first 10 minutes of the match, searching for a quick equalizer. The most dangerous chance came in the 10th minute as #9 Kharlton Belmar found #56 Gabriel Obertan open in the center for a shot, but a Mingo defender slid in front to block the strike.

Only a few minutes before halftime, #1 Austin Pack tipped a shot over the crossbar to keep the Jacks within one. Despite multiple good offensive chances for Charlotte, the visitors went into halftime with a lead.

Halftime: Charlotte Independence 0, Forward Madison FC 1.

Back at it in the second half, a well-placed cross by #13 Anton Sorenson landed at the feet of #29 J.C. Obregón Jr., but he could not get a clean shot off to test the Madison goalkeeper.

Obregón Jr.'s moment to shine came in the 64th minute as he curled a free kick from outside the penalty area into the top right corner of the net.

In the 73rd minute, Obertan took his turn with a free kick outside the penalty area, but his on-target strike was blocked out the endline for a corner kick. The Jacks continued attacking with a cross from #6 Omar Ciss in the 78th minute to Obregón Jr. on the back post who found the back of the net, but the forward was called offside.

On the opposite end, Forward Madison took the lead again in the 79th minute. #17 Derek Gebhard created separation from the Charlotte backline and slotted a shot in the bottom left corner of the goal.

In stoppage time, #4 Nick Spielman headed a ball towards goal off a cross by Obregón Jr., but it sailed just high. The Independence battled until the end, but could not find an equalizer.

Fulltime: Charlotte Independence 1, Forward Madison FC 2.


#9 Kharlton Belmar made his first start of the season for the Independence.

Forward Madison's goal in the 2nd minute was the first goal allowed by the Independence in the first half all season.

#29 J.C. Obregón Jr. scored his seventh goal of the season in all competitions.

#77 Clay Obara made his professional debut for the Independence.

This was the first loss in club history to Forward Madison FC.


Head Coach Mike Jeffries

On allowing a goal so early in the game

"It was a really poor start, and I'm disappointed to start the game that way at home. That goal was so easy, and we were so poor defensively. Then, you have to chase the game the whole way."

On the team's effort following the early deficit

"It took us a while to get into the game in the first half. Towards the end of the first half, we started to have some good moments. The second half, we pushed the game and did well to get back to 1-1. We fell asleep again on the second goal in a game that we worked hard to get our way back into. The energy and the effort was good coming off a hard week, but we weren't sharp enough in the beginning and paid for it."

#9 Kharlton Belmar

On the team's overall performance

"We started a bit slow, and obviously giving up a goal so early forces you to find a way back to level terms. We did a very good job coming out in the second half and getting a hold of the game. We got our goal and unfortunately had a mental lapse and gave up another one. We showed a lot of good effort and were unlucky not to get a couple more in the back of the net."

#77 Clay Obara

On making his professional debut

"It feels great. It's always a dream come true debuting professionally, especially in this team and this city. It really means a lot because you can see how the fans support the team. I'm really excited to produce better performances in the future."

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence host Union Omaha on Friday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets for Military Appreciation Night and Meck Dec Day presented by Accuvision Lasik at

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