CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC Brandt midfielder, Brandt Bronico, has been there from the very start. The hometown favorite was officially announced as a CLTFC player all the way back in December of 2020. So, if there is anyone that can speak to how the 2023 preseason has gone compared to 2022, it’s him.
The team is about a month into their preseason and when asked what’s different between last year and this year, the answer was clear – chemistry.
“Firstly, the chemistry that we have. We obviously brought back a lot of the guys that were here last season which I think helps a lot,” said Bronico. “We kind of already have that chemistry together and how we want to play and each other's movements with a couple more pieces that they added this offseason.
“And we're used to the league now, we know how it operates. We know how it works for guys that haven't been in the league before. They're used to it as well. We have more experience and more chemistry with each other.”
With wounds of Anton Walkes’s passing still very much fresh, the team has used the tragedy as further motivation for the 2023 season.
“It hasn't been easy, that's for sure... but the team, the guys, and the club are looking at it as something we can dedicate the team and our performances to. It gives us more pride as Anton is one of the sole reasons, we're out here playing this game and giving our all.”
“We're going out there and playing for Anton and dedicating the season to him. We want to give our best, and we want to do our best, and ultimately get results for Anton.”
CLTFC players received a pleasant surprise that they’ll be playing at Bank of America Stadium in front of their fans sooner than initially thought. Originally scheduled to be played in Charleston, Charlotte’s fourth preseason game against the Charleston Battery was moved to the Queen City due to weather.
“I think it's great. Gives us one more dress rehearsal leading up to that home opener and gets us used to playing back in Bank of America, where we all we all love to play.”
While the location may have changed, the goal for the friendly remains the same.
“Applying what we've practiced all preseason, the way we press, the way we want to play, keeping possessions while also keeping possession will also you know, threatening in behind, creating chances, and converting chances. I mean, honestly, it's been it's been a really great preseason so far. So, just building off each performance.”
With exactly 16 days left until the MLS season opener, Bronico was asked what he most looking forward to and his response was just as you'd expect...
“Getting ready to party again.”
"Hopefully we can raise a trophy this year" | Brandt Bronico Preseason Press Conference