March 18, 2023 – United Soccer League One (USL1) – Charlotte Independence News Release
The Charlotte Independence started the 2023 USL League One season with a 0-0 draw against defending regular season champions Richmond Kickers. The Jacks will return to action next week against defending league champions South Georgia Tormenta F.C. on Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.
“It was a good first game for us, the first half was a little bit of feeling out and they had a decent amount of possession,” Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “We did a good job in general of limiting their chances throughout most of the game. We made a really good push in the second half and had enough good opportunities to get the goal and win the game but it didn’t happen. We have a lot to be positive about and build on in terms of our defending and shape.”
Both teams pressed early looking for the first goal of the game. The Independence’s first chance came in the 10th minute from #56 Gabriel Obertan, but his shot was blocked. The Jacks stayed on the attack with a corner kick, but were unable to score.
Goalkeeper #1 Austin Pack was called into action early to make a save for the Independence in the 11th minute. He continued to be a steady force in goal just 10 minutes later when he made another save to keep it at 0-0.
“It was good to get that first save out of the way, the first game of the season just trying to start strong,” Pack said. “To get a good save at the beginning of the game kind of gave us the momentum and gave me a little bit more confidence going into the start of the season. It was good to get that first save out of the way.”
The Jacks almost found the back of the net near the end of the first half, but #90 Khori Bennett’s shot was saved by the Richmond keeper. Obertan almost took advantage of a Richmond mistake in the back minutes later, but the Kickers’ defense kept the score 0-0.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half, and went into the locker room tied 0-0.
“First off we got a shutout so that’s huge for the first game of the year,” Captain Clay Dimick said. “You can see some of the stuff that we’ve been working on in training. We just weren’t sharp enough in the final third but we created a lot of chances to win the game. I feel like we could have won the game on a different day. Definitely a positive takeaway was the shutout.”
The Jacks came out in the second half strong with a lot of chances created. Bennett had another…
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