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Southern Derby Cup, Playoff Chances Highlight Midweek Clash With Charleston 

By NCFC Communications, 09/25/18, 3:15PM EDT


CARY, N.C. (September 25, 2018) - North Carolina FC will continue its season with a match against regional rival Charleston Battery on Wednesday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at MUSC Health Stadium. The match presents NCFC with a big opportunity to win the Southern Derby Cup and collect three more points towards the club’s playoff chances.
NCFC has performed well against its rivals in the Southern Derby competition and leads the standings with four points. Charleston and Charlotte trail closely behind with three and two points respectively. NCFC, a three-time winner of the competition from 2007-09, can clinch the title outright with a win or with draws against Charleston and Charlotte.
In addition to a trophy, NCFC’s playoff chances can also be greatly improved with a positive result. The club currently sits in ninth place of the USL Eastern Conference standings with 41 points – one spot away from the playoffs. Ottawa Fury FC is level on points with NCFC, but holds the games won tiebreaker. A win for the club will boost NCFC up to seventh place. With just five games remaining on the schedule, every point is critical towards qualifying for the postseason.
While there’s plenty on the line, NCFC will have to break down a difficult Charleston side that is riding a five-match unbeaten streak. Additionally, the Battery have been one of the most consistent teams in the league and have only lost one match in their last 17 games. MUSC Health Stadium has been a fortress all season and NCFC will need to be sharp to break down the home side.
Last Time Out:
NCFC will carry plenty of positive momentum into Charleston. The side has won back-to-back games on the road, including a 6-1 result over Atlanta United 2 in its last game. Donovan Ewolo scored four goals to lead NCFC over Atlanta and was also named the USL Player of the Week for his efforts.
Players To Watch:
Charleston - No. 13 Nico Rittmeyer
With four goals to his name, Rittmeyer is certainly a player NCFC can’t look past. The midfielder has played nearly every game of the season and is a regular playmaker for the Battery. In addition to his goals, Rittmeyer has recorded four assists and made 20 key passes. 
NCFC - No. 7 Donovan Ewolo
While Daniel Rios has been North Carolina FC’s leading striker for the whole season, Ewolo took advantage of his opportunity last game and netted four goals. The haul brought his season total up to seven and gives NCFC two in-form strikers to choose from. Look for Ewolo to continue to press opposing defenses whenever he gets the chance.
Up Next:
NCFC will return home to face regional rival the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7p.m. Tickets are available online, over the phone at 919-459-8144 or in-person at the Coastal Credit Union Box Office.