Charlotte FC has made Bank of America Stadium a fortress but up next they are against the team with the best away record, the New York Red Bulls.
Here are the three ingredients of the match for the Red Bulls.
Not Our First Rodeo
This isn’t the Crown's first rodeo with the Red Bulls... they met for the first time in the Round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup where NYRB eliminated CLTFC from the tournament. But like any loss, it can be used as a learning experience for CLTFC to use as an advantage in their 2nd encounter with the Red Bulls.
“Having played them, and feeling how it is on the field, rather than on video was a good lesson for us that we can use for this game on Saturday,” said CLTFC captain and defender Christian Fuchs. “We will really be able to focus a lot on how they play and figure out their playing style.”
The team has felt what it’s like to play against the physicality and intensity that the Red Bulls are known for. But probably the most valuable lesson in their encounter against NYRB was experiencing their infamous high press.
Beating the Press
Intense, high pressing has become synonymous with Red Bull soccer. Their “energy-drink” brand of soccer thrives off high pressing and the chaos it creates. But it’s a high risk, high reward press that leaves their backline exposed if the front two lines of pressure get beat. Something that Charlotte FC can look to exploit to score goals.
The press can either be beaten by either playing through it or above it. In the U.S. Open Cup, CLTFC opted to try and beat through the top but now on a bigger pitch playing through it may be the better choice. Whatever method interim head coach Christian Lattanzio will choose, the team will need to be sharp and precise to beat it while not getting punished.
Rested at Home
The last time these two sides faced each other the conditions were more favorable for the Red Bulls. They were the home team, playing on a narrow pitch, in 50-degree weather – ideal for a pressing team.
This time around the match will be played at Bank of America Stadium, on a wide pitch, in what is forecasted to be hot 85-plus degree weather with the brutal Southern humidity. On top of this, the squad will be coming into the match well-rested, coming off a break for the international window.
However, because of the international break, Charlotte FC will be without Karol Świderski, Kamil Jóźwiak, Alan Franco, and Christian Makoun who are all with their respective international camps. But CLTFC will have their loyal fans creating the “magical” atmosphere that has started to gain league-wide recognition behind them.
"We are looking forward to meeting them again. They were physical with us like they are physical with everyone, it is part of their DNA as a club," said CLTFC interim head coach Christian Lattanzio. "But we want to respond to the physical challenge and at the same time to try and impose our game.”
In partnership with Harris Teeter, CLTFC is bringing you the Ingredients of the Match ahead of every time our team takes the pitch during this inaugural season. While the ingredients may differ from week to week, one thing we can all agree on is when it comes to matchday, it’s all about the food and the preparation and Harris Teeter has what you need. Milk, Creamers and Frozen Desserts from Planet Oat and Sunshine Energy Drinks for your matchday prep! Harris Teeter, an Official Grocery Store of Charlotte FC!