Military Appreciation Night at Matthews Sportsplex

Independence High School JROTC Cadet Color Guard during the National Anthem. (Ed Berti)
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Independence Cadets Color Guard looking sharp. (Ed Berti)
First half action in the corner. (Ed Berti)
On the field action at the Sportsplex. (Ed Berti)
Jorge Herrera team leader on the field action. (Ed Berti)
Post 235 Adjutant and Chaplain Al Cerino spouse Sandra with other Post veterans and spouses at the game. (Ed Berti)

The Charlotte independence celebrated their Annual Military Appreciation Night on May 11th in the Sportsplex at Matthews. This year they decided to concentrate on the American Legion which is the largest veterans group in the nation. The primary reason behind this decision is the team plans to move into the American Legion Memorial Stadium in uptown Charlotte in 2021 if the project is ready for the season opener.

Meanwhile, veterans and spouses from the Hooks-Orr American Legion Post 235, Matthews, North Carolina were on hand to enjoy the festivities and the USL professional soccer game. Also, the team placed the names of the veterans and spouses on camouflage uniforms of different players for auction to raise funds for Post 235 to assist local veterans and with community events. Post Commander, Philip Mowry was very pleased with the support and respect given our local veterans by the Charlotte Independence organization for the invitation and half-time ceremony. “The Independence have been very accommodating and we appreciate their commitment to our local veterans,” said Mowry.

Also, the Independence High School AFJROTC Color Guard was present for the opening ceremony to honor our national anthem and proudly display old glory in her red, white and blue. The Brigade Commander, and senior instructor of the schools JROTC program LTC, Jeffrey Jenkins was on hand with his cadets who did an outstanding job.

Regarding the game, in the 30th minute, Charlotte scored first when forward Enzo Martinez assisted Dominic Oduro who slammed a kick past the Loudoun goalkeeper to take a 1-0 lead. This was the third time this season the duo combined for a goal.

Unfortunately, the home team disappointed the crowd and veterans in attendance when they would give up two quick goals before the end of the first half at the 43rd minute and 45th minute. The visitors would score a third goal with 24 minutes remaining in the second half to put this game out of reach and take a 3-1 road victory.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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