Facing a Charlotte Independence side with a veteran defense and attack, Loudoun United found themselves flummoxed several times in their attempt to end their three-game homestand on an up note, nevertheless, neither side was able to register a goal in their 0-0 draw in front of 519 at Segra Field.
After seeing his first roster in a regular-season game, D.C. United homegrown player Jacob Greene returned to the starting lineup for Friday’s game, joined by Kimarni Smith and Jeremy Garay. Michael DeShields appeared on the bench. Former D.C. forward and USL vet Dane Kelly started for the Independence, while Leicester City defenseman Christian Fuchs teased a potential debut with Charlotte, he was left home while Loudoun United used the same starting lineup in consecutive games in 2021
The first half saw both sides exchange chances and an injury to goalkeeper Brandon Miller’s right shoulder forced Austin Pack to come on for the Independence in the 31st minute. On the other end, Charlotte threatened, but Jermaine Fordah held things down in back early on for Loudoun:
Jay was ready pic.twitter.com/Ij8R4awajD— Loudoun United FC (@LoudounUnitedFC) August 6, 2021
Loudoun was outshot by Charlotte 9-4 but held possession advantage 56-44% as things remained scoreless.
Into the second half, Charlotte pressed Loudoun early and had several opportunities on net, but Fordah remained up to the task, as Pack was for the Independence. The closest opportunity for Loudoun was an 85th minute chance by Hopkins, whose shot was tipped over the crossbar by Pack.
“I think anytime you get a shutout against the all-time leading goalscorer in USL history (Dane Kelly) plus Enzo Martinez, for us to get a shutout and create some very good looks is very good,” Coach Ryan Martin said after the game. “It could have honestly been 3-3 at one point, but from our end, we’ll take a point, stop the bleeding and continue to progress and grow.”
“We have confidence in the group and we’re making progress in the steps we want to go in,” Timmy Mehl said after the game. “I think they got away with a tie, but yeah, we’re making good progress.”
Loudoun (2-13-1) plays at the Charleston Battery next Friday at 7:30 pm at Patriots Point.
USL Championship Regular Season - Game 16
Loudoun United FC 0
Charlotte Independence 0
Loudoun (3412): Jermaine Fordah; Hassan Pinto (Michael DeShields 79), Timmy Mehl (C), Allexon Saravia; Ted Ku-DiPietro, Nicky Downs (Landry Houssou 71), Jeremy Garay, Jacob Greene; Darluis Paz (Michael Gamble 71); Kairou Amoustapha (Sammy Sergi 58), Kimarni Smith (Jackson Hopkins 71)
Charlotte (343): Brandon Miller (Austin Pack 31); Kevin Riascos, Hugh Roberts, Clay Dimick; Joel Johnson (Irvin Parra 62), Brandt Bronico, Marcelo Palomino, Adam Armour; Valentin Sabella (C) (Jordan Bender 62), Dane Kelly (Tresor Mbuyu 90), Enzo Martinez
Loudoun - Amoustapha 11, Ku-DiPietro 60
Charlotte - Sabella 32, Armour 39, Bronico 45+3