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Opposition Report: North Carolina - 7/4

By Reilly McGlumphy, 07/02/18, 1:45PM EDT

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Riverhounds SC (7-1-7) will be facing North Carolina FC (5-7-3) for the first time this season at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4 at Highmark Stadium.

The season so far

With 15 games under its belt, North Carolina FC currently sits 10 spots behind the Hounds in 12th place. On the road, NCFC has a 2-3-2 record scoring eight goals and surrendering 11. Venturing to Virginia last time out, North Carolina defeated the Richmond Kickers, 3-1, after losing or drawing in its last four away matches (0-2-2).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

North Carolina’s attack features two dynamic players ranking in the upper echelon of the conference in forward Daniel Ríos and midfielder Kyle Bekker. Ríos leads the team with 32 shots and eight goals, the latter number tying him for the East lead with Neco Brett and company. Bekker, meanwhile, has excelled in distribution with a club-high seven assists, also placing him in a tie for second in the conference.

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Strengths

High passing accuracy: Currently, North Carolina holds a passing accuracy of 81 percent on 7,258 total passes – only one percent below the conference leader Charlotte Independence.

Conversion: North Carolina FC has done well capitalizing on its opportunities with a 16 percent conversion rate, placing them fourth in the East.

Weaknesses

In the back: North Carolina FC’s defense has conceded 14 more goals than the Hounds this season (21-7) and have tallied only four clean sheets. In addition, the club is allowing an average of 1.40 goals per game.

Middle of the pack: Five points out of playoff position, the club’s efforts in several areas has reflected its standing. In particular, NCFC ranks in the middle of the pack of the East in clean sheets (9th), goals conceded (8th), fouls conceded (11th) and red cards (9th).