Match Preview: Legion FC vs. Charlotte Independence - Wednesday, August 5
Birmingham Legion FC vs. Charlotte Independence
Wednesday, August 5 - 7:00PM Kickoff - 6:00PM Gates
BBVA Field - Birmingham, AL
Watch - My68, ESPN+
Legion FC dropped its first match of the 2020 season in a 1-0 defeat to North Carolina FC Saturday night, and the Black and Gold now have to quickly shift focus to this Wednesday, August 5, as they host the Charlotte Independence in another crucial Group G matchup. These two clubs split the 2019 season series, with both earning victories at home.
Charlotte currently sit in third place in the group with four points but have only played twice so far this season and once since the season's resumption. The Independence kicked their season off with a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City II in March and drew Memphis 901 FC 2-2 on July 25. Head Coach Mike Jeffries' side is littered with talent in the attack, as six different Charlotte players have tallied a goal or an assist this season.
There are specific names that come to mind when identifying the Independence's most crucial players. Forward Enzo Martinez is a USL Championship staple, and led Charlotte in assists (9), shots (63), and chances created (62) in 2019, and new signing Dane Kelly bolsters Charlotte's attack as he is the USL Championship's all-time leading goalscorer with 78 career goals. Goalkeeper Brandon Miller solidifies things at the back with a USL career highlighted by 305 total saves and 33 shutouts, and he also won the 2015 USL Championship, playing alongside Legion FC's own Marcos Ugarte.
For Birmingham, rotation will be the key for Head Coach Tom Soehn due to a condensed fixture list. Legion FC plays five times between August 1 and August 15, so keeping guys as fit as possible will be important in remaining at the top of Group G. This becomes an even more trying task, as BHM midfielder Bolu Akinyode was shown a harsh red card in last Saturday's loss to NCFC and will be suspended for Wednesday's contest. Legion FC players and fans alike will have felt hard done by the result, as even a man down the Black and Gold threatened to get a result.
Despite Saturday's loss, the first match this season in which Legion FC failed to score, the club remains at the top of Group G with seven points. Birmingham will be looking to midfielder Bruno Lapa and forwards Brian Wright and Neco Brett to make sure that this does not occur again. With no time to dwell on the first loss of the season, Legion FC will have to quickly rediscover the goalscoring touch that saw it claim a spot at the top of Group G from the get-go.
Defender Razak Cromwell (ankle) is questionable for Wednesday's match, while defender Mathieu Laurent (knee) is listed as out, per the VIVA Health injury report.
For live match updates, follow @bhmlegion on Twitter, or tune in as the match will air live on My68 and ESPN+. Download the Legion FC app to preorder concessions on gameday, load the full season schedule straight into your calendar, and stay up to date with Legion FC.
Another quick turnaround sees Legion FC return to BBVA Field on Saturday, August 8, to take on Atlanta United 2 at 6:30PM. Get tickets for both games at bhmlegion.com/tickets or by emailing [email protected] or calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-791-7145.
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