FC Cincinnati travels to the Tar Heel State this Friday to face off with the Charlotte Independence in a match with major playoff implications. This contest will also decide the winner of the Queen City Cup. Like Cincinnati, Charlotte also carries the moniker of “Queen City”, and this two-legged competition decides which Queen City had the better of this year’s league meetings.
The Orange and Blue scraped out an important road point last Saturday against Saint Louis FC. Danni König converted a stoppage-time penalty kick to rescue a draw after Alan Koch’s men went behind by two goals. That draw maintained FC Cincinnati’s position above the Eastern Conference playoff line, where they currently occupy sixth place.
Charlotte is enjoying a strong regular season campaign that has them in second place in the East after 29 games. The Independence are led by the USL’s second-leading goalscorer Enzo Martinez, who has 16 strikes in 2017.
These teams last met in Cincinnati in early June and played to a 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium. Justin Hoyte provided a late first-half equalizer to level the score after an early Alex Martinez goal.
This is the only Friday match on FC Cincinnati’s 2017 calendar and kicks off at 7 pm Eastern Time.
Four Fast Facts
Here are four fast facts to serve as a backdrop for this late-season USL fixture.
- Despite their lofty spot in the standings, the Independence aren’t in their best form. They’ve lost 3 of their last 5 including a home loss to last-place Toronto FC II. Charlotte has taken just 4 points from the last 15 on offer.
- Charlotte is one of the best passing teams in USL. They have almost 2,000 more passes than FC Cincinnati over 29 games and have the second highest passing accuracy in the league at 81%.
- FC Cincinnati has netted 8 goals in their past four matches. Interestingly, 7 different players have scored those 8 goals.
- Corben Bone leads FC Cincinnati in passing accuracy at 85.6% and has scored in each of the last two matches.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of Friday’s contest.