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Expanded USL adds more new teams and rivalries to schedule
Independence-NCFC play three times in 2018
 
Published Friday, January 19, 2018 5:25 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

USL is bigger.

Over 31 weeks, 33 teams will play 561 regular season games—the largest schedule, with the greatest number of teams in league history. Thirty franchises played 480 games over 30 weeks in 2017.

Among the additions are Nashville, Atlanta, Indianapolis, North Carolina F.C. Pennsylvania from the NASL.

The Charlotte Independence, who will play 34 games, host their first three matches, opening against Ottawa on March 17, followed by Toronto on March 24 and Atlanta on March 31. April 7 in Nashville marks their first road game.

Rivalry to watch:

On April 14, Charlotte’s fifth game of the season acts as historic landmark as it is the first time the Jacks will face NCFC in league competition. The Jacks travel to Cary on Aug. 25, and host NCFC in the regular season finale on Oct. 13.

The clubs have faced each other three times in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in Cary. Charlotte won the first meeting 1-0 off a goal from striker Ryan Finely, before falling to Chicago (MLS) in the fifth round. The Independence have lost on both trips to Cary (5-0 in overtime in 2016 and 4-1 in 2017).

Independence schedule:

http://www.charlotteindependence.com/page/show/3893382-2018-schedule

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