The Charlotte Independence (0-1-2) travel to take on Saint Louis FC (3-1-1) this Saturday, April 22nd for the second away fixture of Charlotte’s season. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET at Toyota Stadium in Fenton, Missouri.
The Independence are coming off a 1-1 draw to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last Saturday night at Winthrop University. The Riverhounds jumped out to an early lead when forward Kay Banjo netted a 2nd minute goals on a tight angle. Minutes later, Independence midfielder David Spies was fouled in the 18-yard box resulting in a converted penalty kick for Jorge Herrera. The home point continued the Independence current streak of never being beaten by the Riverhounds.
With two games in hand, the Independence are at the bottom of the table on two points and the only USL Eastern Conference team without a win. The Independence now look to play five of their next seven games on the road, but hope to continue their 6-win, 7-draw experience from a year ago.
“We've kind of come in from last year and taken more pride in our ability to get results and grind out results a little bit and get goals on the road,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “Hopefully we're able to continue that from last year.”
The Charlotte Independence and Saint Louis did not play one another in 2016 because of conference alignment, but Saint Louis holds a pair of wins over Charlotte in the all-time matchup between the clubs. The last meeting between the teams came on Saturday, September 12th 2015 at Saint Louis.
“It's a different group than we played two seasons ago,” said Jeffries. “They're really good at getting numbers in the middle of the field, both when they have the ball and when they defend. We'll have to deal with that.”
Saint Louis currently sits tied atop the table with ten point and three wins. Coming off a 4-0 away loss to FC Cincinnati, the Saint Louis side will look to revitalize their offense which features Christian Volesky, who is tied for fourth for league goals scored this season. The key stat in Saturday’s game may be time of possession as both teams are top ten in passes completed.
“They're going to be a little more possession oriented.” said Jeffries. “Like many teams in the east, they're a talented squad.”