|Winning results are fleeting for Charlotte Independence|
|1-1 draw against Penn F.C.|
|Published Saturday, July 28, 2018 11:00 pm|
MATTHEWS—The Charlotte Independence need to go on a run if they hope to make the USL playoffs.
The Jacks finished 1-all against Penn F.C., but have struggled to find results as of late, going 1-3-1 in their last five matches. They have league 12 matches remaining – seven at home – and stand eighth in the USL East 7-8-7 with 28 points. The top eight teams advance to the playoffs.
“This is it,” coach Mike Jeffries said. “This is the home stretch for us. We have to make a run. Other than the one stretch of four wins in a row [from May 12-June 2] we haven’t been a consistently strong team throughout the year. We’ve got to put our heads down and grind through it. We’ve gotten a lot of good days, some days where we haven’t gotten results where maybe we should have, and we’ve had days where we haven’t been as good as what I would like. We need a consistent run of performance.”
Said striker Eamon Zayed, who scored for Charlotte: “It’s a bit of a blow tonight, to not get the three points, because we talked about tonight before the game, we had eight home games—five games away. It’s vitally important that the home games that we take as many wins and three points as we can, because to be honest …I know it’s kind of cliché to say it, but it really is really, really important. It’s kind of tight between fourth place and 12th place in the league. We do need to really, really get a string of results together. I’ll take unbeaten between now and the end of the season, but we need to turn draws into wins.”
Half of Charlotte’s last 10 matches have been at home, including stretches with two games per week.
“The next three weeks, we basically have one game [per week],” Jeffries said. “That helps us. We’re hitting, certainly, a physical wall, and we need to get guys recovered.”
The Jacks finished fifth in the 2016 and 2017, falling in the first round of the playoffs against Rochester both times. USL play has since expanded from 30 regular season games in 2016 to 34 in 2018.
NOTE: Tonight’s military appreciation match raised $3,418 for the Wounded Warrior Project via a jersey auction.
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