Two teams from Tennessee will be vying for victories this weekend in Charlotte.
Now, no one is sure how the Tennessee Vols will look under new head coach Jeremy Pruitt just yet, but those in the Volunteer State already have a good idea of what Nashville SC is as a team and is capable of after almost an entire season under their belt.
The Boys in Gold are still looking to make a strong push for the playoffs, and will now look to pick up more points at Charlotte Independence Saturday.
It’s been a rough go for the Jacks lately, who haven’t won a game since their 1-0 victory against Nashville mere months ago. Injuries have plagued the side, and now they sit way out of the playoff picture in 12th place, and will look to play spoiler to those still in the mix for the postseason.
Nashville, meanwhile, is coming off its best offensive performance of the season with a 4-0 shellacking of Richmond Tuesday. The Boys in Gold currently sit in seventh place in the USL Eastern Conference with nine games to go.
Team: Charlotte Independence
- Affiliation: Colorado Rapids
- Stadium: Sportsplex at Matthews (2,300)
- Charlotte’s stadium is the anchor of a 12-field soccer complex southeast of downtown
- The team made its debut there in 2017
- Coach: Mike Jeffries (5th season)
- Jeffries coached the MLS’s Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) from 2001 to 2003
- He won the Hermann trophy in 1983, which is given to the nation’s top male college soccer player
- Jeffries made three appearances for the U.S. national team in the mid-1980s
- First Season: 2014
- 2017 Finish: 13-10-9 (Lost in Conference Quarterfinals to Rochester, 2-1)
- Best-ever Finish: 2016 (14-8-8, Conference Quarterfinals)
- Supporters’ Groups: Jack’s Militia, QC Royals, Slogic Army
- Three Fun Facts:
- The team is named after the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a document that some claim was the first such declaration in the American colonies (although some historians dispute this)
- Charlotte was one of the best teams in possession in 2017, ranking third in passes and passing accuracy
- The Independence had six players sent off in 2017 — second-most in the league
Here’s what Nashville SC coach Gary Smith had to say about tomorrow’s match.
Andy Simmons, Golden Goal
Goal: Tucker Hume
MOTM: Matt Pickens
Forecast: Matt Pickens has a USL Save of the Week candidate.
Wes Boling, Golden Goal
Goal: Lebo Moloto
Forecast: Charlotte will score in the first half, and Nashville will equalize late.
John Sloop, Speedway Soccer Pod
Goals: Tucker Hume, Alan Winn
Forecast: One of Nashville’s goals is a penalty.
Jonathan Slape, Speedway Soccer Pod
Goal: Lebo Moloto
MOTM: Bolu Akinyode
Fearless Forecast: Kris Tyrpak gets the assist.
Ben Wright, Speedway Soccer Pod
Goals: Tucker Hume, Matt LaGrassa
MOTM: Matt LaGrassa
Forecast: Charlotte outshoots Nashville, but settles for shots outside the box.