By: Caleb Hilliard
Memphis 901 FC travel to Charlotte after a week off from USL Championship play.
A win this weekend would see Memphis leapfrog Charlotte and possibly into 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Birmingham Legion and Atlanta United II would have to lose or draw in order for Memphis to jump from 16th to 13th.
Needless to say, the 901 FC desperately need to pick up points in the coming matches.
What to watch for: Charlotte Independence
Charlotte struggled to find points at the beginning of the season. They secured six points through the ten matches with a 2-1 win over Birmingham and draws against Tampa and Hartford.
The independence worst match of the season was in their 10th match losing 1-3 at home to Loudon United FC.
Charlotte rallied following the loss. They forced at 1-1 draw at Nashville SC and a 0-0 draw at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Their away streak commenced the following week when Ottawa thumped the Independence 4-1.
In the three matches leading up to the showdown with Memphis, Charlotte looks to have improved.
They narrowly held Swope Park Rangers to a goalless draw and proceeded the produce their best performance of the season with a 4-1 win over Birmingham.
Last week Charlotte extended their unbeaten run to three matches for the first time this season with a 1-1 draw at Louisville.
Veteran forward, Dominic Oduro is the team’s offensive leader and is one of the more experienced players on a USL roster. The Ghanaian has 12 years of MLS experience with eight different teams.
Oduro leads the Independence in scoring with six goals.
Midfield playmaker, Enzo Martinez usually plays underneath Oduro depending on the formation.
Martinez is tied for a team-high 4 assists and leads Charlotte with 34 chances created.
The Independence have 18 goals this season and every goal has come inside their opponent’s box.
What to watch for: Memphis 901 FC
The Memphis front office bolstered their forward line with the addition of forward, Brandon Allen.
Allen has been one of the most in-form players in the last three seasons with a combined 40 goals in the USL. He is the second highest scoring player in the USL since the start of the 2016 season.
Tim Mulqueen may start Allen against Charlotte but he will likely come on as a substitute.