Loudoun United scored three goals for the second consecutive game though the circumstances in this one were much easier. Last week the ponies needed their third in the 93rd minute to gain a point, this week they scored their third early in the second half en route to defeating the Charlotte Independence 3-1 in front of 1,466 soggy fans at Matthews Sportsplex.
Charlotte controlled much of the action early in the game, culminating in a 30th minute chance where Orlando Sinclair was forced off the ball and Charlotte’s Andrew Gutman received it and fired it deep on the left to Enzo Martinez. Martinez crossed the ball into the area, and Dom Oduro fired it past Calle Brown for the opening goal. Things would stay that way until the 43rd minute, when a loose ball was kept in by Sandor Bustamante, one touched by Collin Verfurth over to Connor Presley, whose right footed shot from 20 yards went by Curtis Anderson’s right side for a tie game headed into halftime. Headed into the second half, things started early for Loudoun as Noah Pilato fired a shot from outside the Charlotte box that deflected off Steven Thicot in the next for the lead. It would stay that way until the 58th minute, as Andrew Lubahn crossed into the box and Anderson poorly handled it, the ball rolling to Shinya Kadono (on at halftime for Bustamante) and blasted it home for his first professional goal.
The only thing left for 16-man Loudoun to do was manage the game, and with their second sub they went a long way towards doing so. Chris Odoi-Atsem, on loan from D.C. United, came on in the 68th minute for Lubahn and played left fullback. Odoi-Atsem was not seriously challenged but appeared comfortable as the 23-year-old played his first competitive minutes in 15 months following a diagnosis of Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Loudoun (2-3-3) will host winless Hartford Athletic on Sunday, May 19 at 2pm at Audi Field.
When we profiled @DCUnited‘s Chris Odoi-Atsem in March, he vowed to get back to his old self after battling & beating Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Tonight we saw him on his comeback as a 2nd half sub w/ @USLChampionship’s @LoudounUnitedFC.That’s @TheUndefeated, sir. Very. pic.twitter.com/ibBuBZadUY— Mark W. Wright (@Wright_One) May 12, 2019