Charlotte Independence will head to Rochester Rhinos on Saturday, and the quarterfinals of the USL Eastern Conference Playoffs, off the back of a fifth straight loss last weekend.
In falling 1-0 to Charleston Battery, the Rapids’ USL affiliate failed to win any of their last six games of the regular season, slipping from second in the standings to fifth. They next travel to the scene of their heaviest defeat of the season, having succumbed 4-0 at Capelli Sport Stadium back in April.
The Rhinos ended the season with three wins in a row, and defeated the Independence 3-1 at the same stage of the playoffs last year. They were USL Cup champions in 2015.
Rapids rookie Sam Hamilton played 61 minutes of Phoenix Rising FC’s 4-1 home win over Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday. Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba had a goal and an assist in the contest, as Rising FC continued their fine late-season form.
Hamilton and Co. went 10-1-1 in their last 12 regular season games, and - as fifth seeds - will travel to fourth-seeded Swope Park Rangers on Saturday for the Western Conference Playoffs Quarterfinals. Swope Park Rangers were beaten finalists in last year’s USL Cup.