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All Three Points - Charlotte Skirts Bethlehem For A Home Win

By James Thomas, 08/16/17, 10:30PM EDT


The Independence took care of business on Wednesday night while three notable points came out of game.

1st Point: Air Mizell Cleared for Takeoff

Independence goalkeeper Cody Mizell had a big night with with seven save on the evening. None were as big as his 82nd minute diving attempt which kept the game in favor of the Independence. Mizell recorded his fourth clean sheet of the season and has lowered his goals against average down to 1.22 through 22 appearances.

“It's really just putting myself in good spots,” said Mizell. “The more games I get, the more comfortable I get in spots. Putting myself in good spots to save and punch balls in the right direction where we're not giving up second chances.”

2nd Point: MVP Rollin’

The 2016 USL MVP Finalist Enzo Martinez pushed the Independence past Bethlehem Steel FC with his 33rd minute goal. With 19 games played this season, Martinez’s 13th goal of the year put him only two goals back of league leaders Dane Kelly (Reno) and Romario Williams (Charleston) for the USL’s Golden Boot. Last season, Martinez recorder nine goals and five assists.  

“We just want to stay at the top of the table and win games,” said Enzo Martinez. “After a tough week in Canada, we knew we had to come out and win no matter what it took, we had to get the three points, especially at home and with the games that are coming up.”

3rd Point: Testing the Depths

For the first time this season, Joel Johnson was subbed into the game. In the 65th minute midfielder David Estrada made way for usual right back Johnson. For the 25 minutes that remain in the game, Johnson played in a more forward role than normal, even creating a half opportunity in the 77th minute.

“We were missing some guys today, so it was giving us the opportunity to look at him in a slightly different role,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “I thought he was pretty effective, certainly on counter-attacks and his pace is still a real plus for us. It's just a different look we do have in our back pocket if we need.”

Bonus Point: 3 Massive Points

The Independence came into Wednesday’s matchup only gathering one point on the previous two-game Canada roadtrip. With Louisville now three-games-in-hand on Charlotte, it was important for the Independence to distance themselves from the field with a quick turnaround as the they stay home this Saturday to face Orlando City B.

How big was the win?

“BIG,” said Mizell. “Especially with 4 games in 2 weeks back to back to back. So, it's a great win for us, and we got three points and a clean sheet, and now we're looking forward to Orlando on Saturday.”

As for the quick turnaround...

“For us, it's just going to be complete regeneration and trying to see who's fit and available for a big game on Saturday,” said Jeffries. “Tomorrow is a day where we try to get healthy and get our legs back a little bit. Friday, we'll continue to evaluate guys. There's no real ability to prepare for an opponent, it's just sort of a let's see who can walk and throw them out there.”