Press Recaps

Charlotte FC Displayed "Total Football" in Commanding Victory over LAFC


A little over a year ago, Charlotte FC made a trip to BMO Stadium to face LAFC, only to be handed a humbling 5-0 defeat. Fast forward to the recent weekend, and The Crown turned the tables on LAFC. While the scoreline displayed only a one-goal difference, Charlotte delivered a commanding performance from start to finish, arguably their finest of the season.

“I thought we were excellent,” said CLTFC captain Ashley Westwood who contributed to the win with the opening goal. “We were very brave… extremely brave. The manager got it spot on and the lads bought into it. For me, we’ve outplayed the best team in the league.”

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Ashley Westwood

Total football.

Those were the words employed by Head Coach Christian Lattanzio to capture the dynamic style his team showcased against LAFC. This tactical approach was popularized by the legendary Dutch player and coach Johan Cruyff. It involves players seamlessly taking over each other's roles, ensuring the team's structure remains intact even as positions shift.

This fluidity was evident in Charlotte's play. Players interchanged positions and took on roles that deviated from their natural ones, creating challenges for LAFC to handle. Despite facing one of the league's premier teams, Charlotte dictated the game's tempo. According to Westwood, the main lesson the team drew from the match was that the team was able to not just compete, but outplay one of the best teams in the league.

“I think just the way we went toe to toe with them. We showed we want to play, that we've got our style, we're going to dominate the ball, and we did that tonight.”

Head Coach Christian Lattanzio

Both goal scorers, Ashley Westwood and Scott Arfield, attributed the team’s newfound confidence to their impressive Leagues Cup run. Charlotte managed to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament, and this experience acted as a reset for their mentality as they returned to MLS action.

“We've shown that we can do it in Leagues Cup,” said Westwood. “We took great confidence in that, and we can gain even more confidence from the game tonight.”

As the season enters its final third, Charlotte stands among several Eastern Conference teams vying for coveted playoff berths. With one game played and ten more to go, their fate remains within their control. The challenge lies in stringing together consecutive performances like the one against LAFC through the remaining matches. For that reason, Lattanzio has encouraged his team to view the last portion of the season as a "mini-league" composed of crucial matches.

“If we see the last 11 games, now we have 10, it’s like a third [of a season],” said Lattanzio. “There is a third of the league left, so there is a lot to play for. I think that if we do well, in this third of the league, we have all the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to make playoffs.

“We have to look at ourselves, we have to play well, and take it game by game. The more we play with conviction, passion, togetherness and the more the players are committed, involved, and give their best, the more chance we will have to fight until the end.”