CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC became the first expansion team to sweep the reigning MLS champions after their win at home against New York City FC. It was a match that required every bit of belief and resilience that the team could muster. In the end, they managed to come out victorious ending their three-match losing streak.
Interim head coach Christian Lattanzio made some significant tactical changes, including a formation change, heading into the match that paid dividends early on. The Crown started strong, dictating the tempo of the match, and playing on the front foot. They were knocking on NYCFC’s door early on but unlike in their past two matches, were able to capitalize on their possession.
After nearly scoring off a header from center back Adilson Malanda, it would be a header by Daniel Ríos from a Karol Świderski cross that would give CLTFC the lead in 6th minute. Charlotte was cruising in the match, up until a VAR call saw defender Christian Fuchs sent off in the 56th minute for an elbow leaving the team a man down for the remainder of the match.
However, Charlotte did not back down despite the odds against them. NYCFC threw everything they had at Charlotte, but the Crown held on valiantly to get back to winning ways at home.
Get It and Go
Get it and go... those were the words you could hear Christan Lattanzio yell at his team as he urged them to increase the tempo of their game. He had stressed coming into the match that the team needed to be quicker, sharper, and more aggressive when they had the ball if they wanted to score goals.
Charlotte broke their two-match goal scoring drought by doing just that. The aggression in pushing the ball forward and the tactical switch to a 4231 made for a more dynamic offensive side that continually threatened their opponent
With their backs against the walls and the odds against them, Charlotte managed to dig deep and earn a vital three points to keep their playoff hopes alive. Not every match can be won beautifully and in those types of situations, Charlotte have struggled to get points.
This was another positive step in the growth of a still very young team that still feels there is everything to fight for in the remainder of the season. That same mental fortitude shown by the Crown in their win against NYCFC will be needed in their efforts to finish the season strong.