Charlotte (N.C.) – In the USL’s Game of the Week, the Eastern Conference's first place Charlotte Independence (11-4-7) take on Bethlehem Steel FC (10-8-3) on Wednesday night. With their 12-game franchise record-tying unbeaten streak snapped by Ottawa Fury on Saturday, the Independence will look to continue their unbeaten home form. Since moving to the brand new Sportsplex at Matthews on June 17th, the Independence have four wins and one draw. The Eastern Conference’s top offense is spearheaded by 2016 USL MVP Finalist Enzo Martinez and the USL’s Player of the Month for July and Second All-Time leading goal scorer Jorge Herrera, who both sit tied for the league’s fourth-most goals scored this season. The Independence rounds out their potent attack by boasting the Eastern Conference's best goal difference at +16.
The Independence were in action on Saturday night when they fell to Ottawa Fury in the first ever meeting between the two clubs. On the backend of a two-game Canada roadtrip, the Independence had their 12-game unbeaten run broken in a 3-1 loss. Ottawa grabbed the lead when Eddie Edwards scored in the 37th minute and the Fury would tack on another goal after the half when Gerardo Bruna put in a left-footed shot in the 52nd minute. David Spies would pull a goal back for the Independence when Enzo Martinez assisted the German midfielder in the 75th minute. However, in an attempt to push a lot of players forward, Ottawa sealed the game with a third goal from Adonijah Reid in the 87th minute. The Independence loss was the first in 66 days when Charlotte was downed by Louisville City FC.
During the Independence’s run of unbeaten games, they traveled to face a sixth place Bethlehem Steel FC team and topped them 4-0. Since then, Bethlehem has rattled off two consecutive wins. Most recently, Bethlehem hosted Toronto FC II with Cory Burke, James Chambers, and Chirs Nanco all contributing a goal to Steel FC’s 3-1 victory.
On only two days rest, Bethlehem will travel to Charlotte for the fourth-ever meeting between the two clubs. The Independence look to continue their unbeaten success at home versus Bethlehem as the match will kickoff at 7:00 PM ET at the Sportsplex at Matthews. The game will be live broadcast on charlotteindependence.com, the USL’s Match Center via YouTube, and on ESPN3. The Independence will continue their homestand on Saturday, August 19th for a matchup with Orlando City B. Ticket for the game are now on sale at charlotteindependence.com.