CHARLOTTE, N.C. – While the Charlotte Independence and the Charleston Battery have safely clinched a place in the USL Cup Playoffs, the final Southern Derby of the regular season on Saturday night will still have a big impact on the USL Cup Playoffs, with the Battery looking to clinch second place while the Independence need a win for the chance to earn a home playoff game. Kickoff at the Sportsplex at Matthews is at 7 p.m. ET.
Charlotte Independence news and notes
Current record: 13-9-9, 48pts
The Independence's losing streak reached four games last Saturday night when the side lost 2-1 to Louisville City FC at Slugger Field.
After Louisville had taken the lead the Independence pulled level in the 66th minute through Caleb Calvert’s goal, but Kyle Smith scored the winner for the hosts in the 77th minute.
The defeat saw the Independence drop to fifth in the USL Eastern Conference standings, two points behind the fourth-place Rochester Rhinos. Charlotte will need a victory, and the Rhinos to either draw or lose against the New York Red Bulls II, to regain fourth place and a home playoff game.
The Independence will be looking for their eighth home win of the season on Saturday night, with the side having lost only twice at the Sportsplex at Matthews since its opening in June.
Charleston Battery news and notes
Current record: 14-8-9, 51pts
The Battery romped to a 4-0 win against the Harrisburg City Islanders last Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium to give the side a chance at a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Cuban forward Heviel Cordoves continued his good form with two goals, with a goal each by Ataulla Guerra and Quinton Griffith drove the Battery on to a convincing victory.
Cordoves has scored in five consecutive games going into Saturday's contest, where another goal would move him into a tie with Reno 1868 FC's Dane Kelly for the longest scoring streak in the league this season.
The Battery enter Saturday's game in third place in the Eastern Conference after the Tampa Bay Rowdies' victory against Orlando City B on Thursday night. A win would send Charleston back past Tampa Bay into second place, but a draw could see the side overtaken for third by Rochester should the Rhinos defeat the New York Red Bulls II earlier in the evening.
The Battery have only conceded three goals in their last five matches, building a strong defensive record which will be vital heading into the USL Cup Playoffs for a seventh consecutive season.
Charlotte – GK: Cody Mizell, Kainoa Likewise, Kyle Renfro; D: Dennis Castillo, Austin Yearwood, Bilal Duckett, Sam Vines, Joel Johnson, Henry Kalungi, Luke Waechter, Ashani Fairclough, Donnie Smith; M: Zev Taublieb, Callum Ross, Alex Martinez, Jun Marques Davidson, David Estrada, Lewis Hilton, Dennis Tchinde, David Spies; F: Yann Ekra, Caleb Calvert, Casey Townsend, Jorge Herrera, Jaime Siaj, Enzo Martinez
Charleston – GK: Alex Tambakis, Odisnel Cooper, Joe Kuzminski, Alec Kann; D: Forrest Lasso, Taylor Mueller, Skylar Thomas, O’Brian Woodbine, Quinton Griffith, Mikey Ambrose, Miles Robinson; M: Laurent Kissiedou, Jarad van Schaik, Neveal Hackshaw, Ataulla Guerra, Lagos Kunga, Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang, Tah Brian Anunga, Kotaro Higashi, Ryan Arambula; F: Romario Williams, Patrick Okonkwo, Heviel Cordoves, Ricky Garbanzo, Nico Rittmeyer, Jeffrey Otoo
Charlotte – Accumulation warning: Donald Smith
Charleston – Accumulation warning: Neveal Hackshaw
REF: DANIEL GUTIERREZ
AR1: Justin Howard
AR2: Chris Zuerner
4TH: John Rush
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