It remained to be seen what type of environment or performance Loudoun United would bring to the new permanent home, Segra Field. But they battled back several times over the course of the game, leading to a 3-3 draw with the Charlotte Independence in front of 5,015 in their inaugural affair.
The first half hour was a nondescript affair, save for a 32nd minute Charlotte goal that was whistled for offside. Moments later, Niki Jackson would kick the ball away from Calle Brown who appeared to have it in his grasp (Brown was told later it was more of a 50-50 ball), and feed it to Valentin Sabella for the first goal at Segra Field and a 1-0 Charlotte lead. Loudoun would level it just before halftime as a Orlando Sinclair shot was saved by Brandon Miller, and defender Harri Hawkins would bury the rebound for the equalizer.
In the 63rd minute, Afrim Taku would find a wide open Jorge Herrera in the area and beat Brown to his right for a 2-1 lead, which would be matched three minutes later when D.C. United loanee Antonio Bustamante would send a curling right foot shot past Miller to level things. Four minutes after that, Dominic Oduro would head a Herrera cross past Brown on the right for a lead. Things would cool down briefly, when Christian Sorto would cross a ball to Carlos Alvarez, who headed it to the back post past Miller to tie things up again. It would nearly be lost in extra time, but a Kevan George header from close range was saved away by Brown to secure the points, extending their unbeaten string of home games to three, to include their first game at Segra Field.
“It’s just relieving to be honest to have a home really,” Coach Ryan Martin said. “We don’t have to go to RFK anymore and train there, we don’t have to play at Audi, we don’t have to play a lot on the road. It’s home, and that’s the best part about it.”
Loudoun (5-9-4, 19 points) will host the Charleston Battery in their next game, Wednesday at 7:30pm at Audi Field.