2017.09.11 Loan

Loan Watch: Charlotte match postponed | Hamilton plays 90 minutes in Phoenix win

Charlotte Independence’s home game with Charleston Battery was postponed on Saturday, “due to Hurricane Irma”, and has been rescheduled for September 20.

It meant that Louisville City, with a 3-0 win at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, were able to open up a three point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference of the USL (United Soccer League). They also still have a game in hand over the Rapids’ USL affiliate.

The Independence remain second, on 47 points from 26 games. Their next encounter is at home to Ottawa Fury on Saturday.

Phoenix Rising, meanwhile, continued their climb up the Western Conference. They claimed a 2-1 win at Colorado Springs Switchbacks at the weekend, and now sit seventh in the standings. They are unbeaten in seven games, though that record could be tested this weekend, as leaders Real Monarchs SLC pay a visit to Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex.

Rapids loanee Sam Hamilton made his first start for Phoenix, and played the 90 minutes. Goalkeeper John Berner, who joined last week on loan, was on the bench.

AJ Gray scored the winner for the visitors, four minutes from time, and just three minutes after the Switchbacks had leveled.

There was a moment of controversy in the game. Kevaughn Frater’s freekick in the second minute hit the underside of the bar, and appeared to bounce down over the line. Play continued, with referee Mark Allatin waving away protests from the home side. Phoenix eventually took the lead through Highlands Ranch-raised Amadou Dia just after the interval, before the late drama.