|Jorge Herrera on verge of 100th appearance for Independence|
|Striker gets to century mark against Penn F.C.|
|Published Friday, July 27, 2018 4:04 pm|
|PHOTO | TROY HULL|
|Charlotte Independence striker Jorge Herrera (10) is scheduled to play his 100th USL match with the franchise July 28 against Penn F.C.|
MATTHEWS—Jorge Herrera hasn’t stopped making Charlotte soccer history.
His 100th USL appearance for the Charlotte Independence coincides with their match against Penn F.C. on July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
“Jorge has clearly been the face of the franchise since day one, and has been nothing but class for us,” coach Mike Jeffries said.
Herrera leads the Jacks in scoring with 10 goals, which also puts him in contention for the USL Golden Boot, as he’s tied for third.
“It’s a great accomplishment for him,” Jeffries said. “It says a lot about him. Jorge still comes out every day and works, some days, amazingly harder than everyone. He takes good care of his body, keeps himself fit, and he’s been fantastic again this year in terms of getting on the end of plays, and finding ways to create goals for us.”
While Herrera has proven consistent since the club announced him as their first signing in 2015, the Independence’s current form is lackluster. They stand 1-4 in their last five matches; ninth in the USL East with 27 points and 7-8-6 overall. Their last result was in a 1-0 win against Nashville at home, when midfielder Kevan George scored his first career goal for the Jacks. Since then, they have lost twice on the road; 2-0 against Cincinnati and 4-1 in Louisville. Charlotte continues to struggle with injuries – defender Donnie Smith, midfielder Cordell Cato, striker Caleb Calvert and midfielder Greg Jordan. However, they have proven that they can get results with less experienced lineups. Rookie midfielders Jake Areman and Mutaya Mwape have benefited from additional playing time due to disciplinary action and injury among their senior teammates.
“Whether they’re rookies or senior players, everyone does a great job to make sure that they stay sharp,” defender Henry Kalungi said.
Said Mwape: “You have to step up. You have to put aside that you’re a rookie, and you’ve just got to do what you have to do. You just have to be responsible.”
Penn F.C. heads to Charlotte on a two-game losing streak as well, with consecutive 2-1 losses against Richmond and Ottawa. They sit 11th in the East with 25 points at 6-6-7 (2-2-1 in their last five games).
“They’re very veteran this year,” Jeffries said. “They’re very good going forward. They’re pretty direct in how they play.”
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