Charlotte FC earned a key win against Chicago Fire FC to maintain control of their destiny in the close playoff race.
CHARLOTTE, NC (Monday, October 9, 2023) – Charlotte FC Captain Ashley Westwood and Head Coach Christian Lattanzio earned spots on the MLS Team of the Matchday following the team’s crucial win against Chicago Fire FC.
The Crown secured a necessary three points on the road in a 2-0 victory courtesy of an Ashley Westwood volley and Karol Swiderski penalty kick.
CLTFC jumped out to an early first-half lead with Westwood’s strike in the 24th minute. The English midfielder started the move by finding Swiderski in between the lines before the Polish forward sprayed it wide to Kerwin Vargas, who whipped in a good cross. A Chicago defender headed the ball to the top of the box, where Westwood was following the play and smashed home the rebound with a volley straight out of the air.
The fight continued into the second half, where Enzo Copetti earned The Crown a penalty after getting swiped by Chicago defender Miguel Navarro. Swiderski stepped up for the penalty kick, scoring and bringing CLTFC up to the 2-0 lead they would never relinquish.
Head Coach Christian Lattanzio made just one change to his starting eleven from the last match, incorporating forward Kerwin Vargas, who ultimately played an integral role in the setup for Westwood’s goal. Lattanzio’s team dominated possession throughout the match at Soldier Field and effectively protected the lead late in the second half with four substitutions.
CLTFC now has 39 points, putting the team in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings, just one point out of the playoff positions with a game in hand over all the teams in front of them.
That game in hand comes next week against Inter Miami CF, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention following their loss to FC Cincinnati on Saturday. CLTFC plays the Herons twice back-to-back after this week’s international break, first away on Wednesday, October 18th and then at home on Decision Day on Saturday, October 21st.
Two wins from those two matches would give Charlotte FC a first-round home playoff game as the #8 seed, regardless of other results on Decision Day.
For the full MLS Team of the Matchday, please see below:
F: Dénis Bouanga (LAFC), Teemu Pukki (MIN), Nelson Quiñónes (HOU)
M: Carles Gil (NE), Mathieu Choinière (MTL), Ashley Westwood (CLT), Luquinhas (RBNY)
D: Álvaro Barreal (CIN), Miles Robinson (ATL), Kyle Duncan (RBNY)
GK: Yohei Takaoka (VAN)
Coach: Christian Lattanzio (CLT)
Bench: Joe Willis (NSH), Damion Lowe (PHI), Erik Thommy (SKC), Mateusz Klich (DC), Héctor Herrera (HOU), Iván Angulo (ORL), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (MIN), Kwadwo Opoku (MTL), Cucho Hernández (CLB)
MIA WATCH PARTY
Join us at the Bank to watch Charlotte FC take on Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium.
October 18th at 7:00 PM | Kickoff at 8:00 PM | Bank of America Stadium