Charlotte (N.C.) – The USL Eastern Conference’s first place team, Charlotte Independence (12-4-7) continues their four-game homestand against Orlando City B (7-6-10) this Saturday at the Sportsplex at Matthews. The Independence bounced back from Ottawa Fury snapping their 12-game unbeaten streak by topping Bethlehem Steel FC on Wednesday night at home. Since moving to the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday, June 17th, the Independence have rattled off six unbeaten home games, with five wins. The Independence now face one of the hottest teams in the USL in Orlando as they carry their nine-game unbeaten run to Charlotte.
Now at the top of the Eastern Conference table, the Independence are closing in on surpassing last season’s win and point totals. With nine games remaining in the 2017 regular season, the Independence will host six games. In the most recent game for the Independence, 2016 USL MVP Finalist Enzo Martinez notched his 13th goal of the season when he smashed in the 33rd minute game winner over Bethlehem Steel FC. Martinez is now only two goals off the pace for the league’s top scorer.
On just two days of rest, the Independence now face Orlando City B as their fifth opponent in 15 days. This is the final regular season meeting between the two club in 2017 as Charlotte holds the upper hand with four points in the two previous matchups. In the last meeting, Charlotte toppled Orlando 3-1 as David Estrada, Enzo Martinez, and Jorge Herrera recorded goals. In both matchups this season, Orlando striker Albert Dikwa has found the back of the net and is tied as the second-leading goal scorer for the squad. Orlando’s previous game was a mid-week 3-1 home victory over Ottawa Fury on the back of Hadji Barry’s two-goal performance.
"It's been a very difficult and long stretch of games, and so I think there's a little bit of fatigue, especially on a hot night," said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries after Wednesday's match. "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."
The Independence look to continue their unbeaten success at home versus Orlando 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 WCCB Anettena TV (Spectrum Channel 1261). The Independence will continue their homestand on Saturday, August 26th with a matchup against Toronto FC II. Ticket for the game are now on sale at charlotteindependence.com.