Charlotte Independence beats Toronto FC II at Sportsplex 2-0

Independence Yann Ekra in action at Matthews Sportsplex.
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The Charlotte Independence professional USL soccer club took on the visitors from Toronto with a dominating first half performance on a rainy damp cold night in Matthews.  This is the team’s best start in their history winning two consecutive games picking up 6 valuable points in the beginning of a long campaign.

Cordell Cato and Caleb Calvert in the middle of the action. (Ed Berti)

The Independence scored first just 18 minutes into the contest when Jorge Herrera was nicely fed a headed assist by teammate Caleb Calvert to rocket a clean shot in full stride past the Toronto goalkeeper for the first goal of the match and his third goal of the season.  Then suddenly at the 39:00 minute mark Toronto had a rush to the net off a deflection, kicked a hard shot at Independence goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra who made the save of the match on a two-handed stop which was eventually labeled the play of the game.  This was a key moment in the first half witch electrified the small but loyal crowd on hand and kept the Jacks focused on their mission.

Then at the 42:00 minute mark Caleb Calvert scored his first goal of the young season on a header off the back post on an assist from Alex Martinez to give the Jacks a comfortable 2-0 lead after the first half of competition.

In the second half the teams seemed to spar with each other up and down the rain soaked field at the Sportsplex.  The Jacks defense was excellent throughout the match holding Toronto to only three shots on goal with the last two shots coming in the final minutes of the match.  Bilal Duckett, Donnie Smith, Sam Vines and Joel Johnson did an outstanding  job all night defending and stretching out the Toronto attack.

Jorge Herrera defending on this play. (Ed Berti)

After the game Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries mentioned “I’m excited we did get the first clean sheet and think it was important to accomplish, said Jeffries.  Coach added, “It was definitely a goal of our group, especially at home.  Tonight we defended stoutly at times.”

Hopefully next Saturday night at the Matthews Sportsplex we will have better weather conditions and we have a large supportive crowd at the match when the Independence take on Atlanta United II to start off the season with a three game sweep during the teams first home stand.

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