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Game Preview: Independence Travel to Orlando

By James Thomas, 05/26/17, 10:00AM EDT

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Coming off some idle time, the Independence look to get all three points as they travel to take on the Orlando City B this weekend.

Charlotte (N.C.) – The Charlotte Independence (2-2-2) travel to take on Orlando City B (3-3-3) this Saturday, May 27th at Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET. With the Independence playing two league games in the month of May, the Jacks are searching for points early in the season.

The Independence’s last league game was a Thursday night 5-1 victory over the defending 2016 USL Champion New York Red Bulls II. The five goal game tied a franchise record for most scored in a game, which rookies Callum Ross and Jaime Siaj got the first goals of their careers. The Independence now face an Orlando side who they squared off with earlier this season resulting in a point for both teams. Orlando, most recently claiming a 2-0 away victory over FC Cincinnati last Saturday, currently sits in sixth place in the USL Eastern Conference table.

"I think we’re both slightly different teams from the last time," said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. "They played a fairly young group against us, and I expect this group is going to be a little more of what they’re going to play in the last couple weeks, which are some pretty experienced MLS guys." 

The Independence head into Saturday’s game coming off a 3-2 victory against the Charlotte Eagles in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, claiming the Charlotte Derby for a second consecutive season. The Independence took an early lead on the Eagles following a tenth minute goal by Casey Townsend, and carried the 1-0 lead into the half. However, the Eagles came roaring back in the second half with back-to-back goals by Ryan Williams and Kelvin Omondi in the 61st and 63rd minutes. Enzo Martinez converted an equalizing penalty kick in the 77th minute, and scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute. Enzo Martinez’s two-goal performance made him the first Independence player in franchise history to accomplish the feat three times.

"We head into this week with a full week," said Jeffries. "Following New York, we’ve gone back to some of the basics, but having such a long break gave us the opportunity to practice."

The Saturday, May 27th game will be broadcast on WCCB’s Antenna TV (Spectrum channel 1261, OTA 18.2) and on the USL’s Match Center via YouTube. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM ET. The Independence will move to their new, home stadium in the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday, June 17th. Tickets are on sale now.