Charlotte Eagles News Release -- www.charlotteeagles.com
Thursday, August 9, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles (9-9-2), winners of six of their last seven games, travel to Pittsburgh and Dayton for two big USL PRO games this weekend. The Eagles take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Chartiers Valley Stadium. Pittsburgh (4-13-5, 17 points) has had a much better season at home (3-5-3) than on the road (1-8-2) and is always a formidable opponent.
The Riverhounds are led in attack by former New York Red Bull Matt Kassel (6 goals, 2 assists, 14 points). The Eagles won their only previous meeting of the season 2-0 as goals by Devon Grousis and Chris Salvaggione allowed the Eagles to mark the official celebration their 20th Anniversary Season with a victory on July 14.
The Eagles then travel to Ohio to play the Dayton Dutch Lions (4-10-7, 19 points) on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Miami Valley South Stadium. Dayton, like Charlotte, had a banner run through the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, making it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. The Dutch Lions defeated in-state neighbor the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer 2-1 during their run.
The Dutch Lions have been tough to beat at home, posting a 4-3-4 home record. Former Eagle Gibson Bardsley is tied for the team league in scoring with nine points (4 goals, 1 assist), while fellow former Eagle Joel DeLass is among a handful of players in the league to have played every minute of every game (21 games, 1890 minutes). Charlotte and Dayton tied 0-0 in their only previous meeting this year back on April 13th in Charlotte.
For the Eagles, goalkeeper Eric Reed enters the weekend with four consecutive shutouts in league play, while Darryl Roberts (6 goals, 1 assist, 13 points) and Jorge Herrera (5 goals, 2 assists, 12 points) have led the side’s attack. The Eagles are among seven teams fighting for the final five playoff spots. Only league leader Orlando City has clinched a playoff berth, and Charlotte will want to pick up maximum points to move up from its current position of seventh in the standings. The top six teams earn a berth in the playoffs.
"I never recall the league being this tight at the end of the season," Eagles General Manager Tom Engstrom said. "Any number of teams could be in or could be out of the playoffs and any number of teams could end up hosting a first round playoff game. We expect two very difficult games at Pittsburgh and Dayton."