|Miscues cost Charlotte Independence in USL loss to New York|
|Jacks go ahead, but concede a pair in setback|
|Published Saturday, April 13, 2019 9:56 pm|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|The Charlotte Independence dropped to 0-4-1 after a 2-1 loss to New York Red Bulls II Saturday in Matthews.|
MATTHEWS—Five games in, and the Charlotte Independence have a point to show for it.
A 2-1 loss Saturday to New York Red Bulls II showed signs of life, but a familiar result, as the Jacks dropped to 0-4-1.
“After tonight, there is a huge amount of positives,” said coach Jim McGuiness, who took over in December. “For probably 70 minutes, we were the best team on the pitch. The 20 minutes is what is really, really hurting us at the moment.”
Striker Niki Jackson joined Charlotte on loan from MLS Colorado Rapids earlier this week, and McGuinness immediately implemented him in the starting 11. The second-year professional had an immediate impact, scoring in the 25th minute off a ball from rookie defender Andrew Gutman. Jackson ended Charlotte’s two-game goalless stretch, and gave them the lead for the first time this season. However, Charlotte conceded twice within three minutes shortly after Jackson scored.
Colorado sent Jackson to Charlotte with one goal in mind—playing time. Jackson played the full match against New York, with his Charlotte debut mimicking that of his MLS debut when he scored a goal for Colorado against New England.
“When I was in Colorado, one thing I was working on a lot was my near post runs, because it’s really hard to defend, and defenders don’t know how to react to you when you’re coming from their backside,” Jackson said. “In training yesterday, Andrew and I had been linking up quite well with crosses, and I told him, ‘with my speed and your good crosses, you put in an early ball, I’ll get to it.’ It just panned out perfectly.”
Said McGuinness: “He’s a fine player, and we’re delighted to have him. Hopefully he’ll score a lot of goals for us in the coming season. From Colorado’s point of view, they rate him very highly, and they believe he can come here, score a lot of goals and go back to them, and do a good job for him as well.”
Charlotte hosts Bethlehem on April 16 at 7 p.m. for their first midweek test.
“Again, the goals and getting punished for one or two mistakes, that’s what is really, really costing us,” McGuinness said. “Other than that, we dominated the game, and that’s what we’ve got to focus on going into Tuesday night, which becomes a huge game for us now.”
Said goalkeeper Brandon Miller: “I feel like we’ve been on top of games plenty of times, and then we give up goals, whether it’s just marking in the box, service in the box—we just give up goals as the wrong time, and our reaction hasn’t been great. Give up one goal, turns into two goals, and now we’re chasing games again. It’s frustrating.”
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