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Independence look to turn poor results around at Pittsburgh
Wins have been scarce over the last two months
Published Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:26 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

MATTHEWS—The Charlotte Independence need a confidence boost.

They head to Pittsburgh on Aug. 18 with one win in the last two months. Pittsburgh sits second in the USL East with 43 points at 12-3-7, while Charlotte sits 11th with 28 points at 7-9-7.

“Right now it’s more about the confidence,” midfielder Yann Ekra said. “When you have bad results, as soon as you miss one pass you put your head down. We had a good week of practice. I’m sure soon as we get the goal, we get some nice play, we’re going to turn this around, and get a good result.”

Charlotte has struggled with injuries since the beginning of the season, missing defender Donnie Smith for most of the season with a groin injury. A decision about midfielder Cordell Cato will be made this weekend, as he is coming back from injury. Midfielder Kevan George will not play due to yellow card accumulation.

While the Jacks have played multiple new faces, they have struggled to find a creative heartbeat.

“We’ve been a team who is still very good in possession, and we’ve still been able to move the ball,” coach Mike Jeffries said. “We haven’t had necessarily in the last stretch enough final third creativity, and created enough really good chances. That’s a frustration for sure. We continue to address that. As far as the different personalities and the chemistry, it’s a different group every year. They get on really well. We just need different guys to step up and make plays.”

The Jacks received 24-year-old Minnesota United defender Bertrand Owundi Eko Thursday on loan, making him eligible for the Pittsburgh game. He has not played since July 11 when Minnesota faced Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa in a friendly. Minnesota can recall him at any time.

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