Press Recaps

Charlotte FC's Thrilling Victory: Home Form, Resilience, and Lots of Goals


Charlotte FC fans were treated to a five-goal thriller versus Toronto FC at Bank of America Stadium, witnessing their team score three goals for the first time this season. It’d been a frustrating couple weeks for The Crown, as lack of finishing haunted them in their previous two matches. Nonetheless, their persistence bore fruit when the floodgates opened against The Reds.

“It feels really good,” said Head Coach Dean Smith following the match.

"The lads are asking me for an extra day off after scoring three goals, but I’ve told them no,” Smith continued with a laugh. “Still need to keep working.”

Charlotte had only managed to score multiple goals in a match for the second time this season, with almost all their attackers participating. This breakthrough was exactly what the team needed, especially considering their recent scoring struggles.

Kerwin Vargas broke the deadlock with a stunning driven shot from outside the box, catching Toronto off guard. This marked his first goal of the season, after coming close on several occasions throughout the season.

“I told Kerwin I want to see him play with more personality, and I thought he showed that today,” said Smith following the electric performance.

The Colombian wasn’t the only 22-year-old winger to kick off his 2024 goal tally this season. Charlotte’s newest DP, Liel Abada, notched first-ever MLS goal for the Club in just 179 minutes of play. Although his first goal was disallowed, it was clear that nothing would deter Abada from finding the back of the net.

“I’ve waited a long time,” said Abada with a gleaming smile on his face. ”I’ve had a really difficult time but now I really feel happy. I just want to enjoy everything in our attempt to achieve our targets.”

Smith was elated for Abada, and sung his praises, ”He came to the party tonight. I’m really pleased for him. He’s a really unassuming guy, but you can see it meant a lot to him to score that goal...

“I thought his impact on the game today was excellent.”

For a while, Charlotte was underperforming their goal scoring metrics. However, with two wingers securing their first goals of the season, this could provide the boost momentum to reverse their fortunes.

“It will be really important for them [the attackers], as it’ll boost confidence,” said Smith. “It’ll boost confidence for the whole team, to prove to themselves that they can go and do it now. We just need to take it forward.”

Despite the goals from both wingers, Charlotte remained level with the visiting team. In the 78th minute, for the second time in the match, Charlotte conceded their lead.

Striker Patrick Agyemang, alongside Brecht Dejaegere, was tasked with chasing the winning goal.

The 23-year-old striker had encountered difficulties in the previous match against the New England Revolution, missing some crucial chances. However, he was determined to make amends with his next opportunity.

"Last week I felt like I let myself and the team down,” shared Agyemang. “We have a good group of guys, and I just told myself you’ve got to get over it because it's a long season and I can’t change it... I just need to focus on what I could do to get better, and I did so."

Indeed, it was the two substitutes who combined for the decisive goal, with Dejaegere finding Agyemang. Dejaegere's precise pass found the young striker at the near post, securing his second goal of the season and clinching victory for the team.

Charlotte demonstrated remarkable resilience, rebounding from conceding the lead twice and not only pressing for but ultimately achieving the winning goal in the 85th minute. They showed ruthlessness in front of a goal that everyone believed was there but hadn't shown itself.

A crucial element in Charlotte's perseverance was the unwavering support of the fans, who spurred the team on until the final whistle. The triumph against Toronto extended Charlotte's unbeaten home streak to 13 games in MLS, underscoring the remarkable atmosphere created by the fans.

“The crowd gives us a different kind of energy boost, and we never want to disappoint at home,” explained Agyemang. “We want to snatch as many points as we can.

“We want teams to come in here and be scared and worried that it’s never going to be easy.”

After a week where Smith noted his players' morale was “down,” securing the victory has revitalized the team with newfound confidence and belief. This boost comes just in time for a pivotal month ahead, with Charlotte set to play five of their next seven games at home.

“This group of guys is special,” said Agyemang. I feel this year is really special, so we are just going to keep going and stay positive every day.”




Charlotte FC vs Minnesota United | April 21 at 7:30 p.m. | Bank of America Stadium

No better way to spend Sunday than at The Fortress with The Crown. Grab your tickets to join the party!