CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC’s last home game of the season was a four-goal thriller against the Columbus Crew that saw the Crown come back and tie the game at 2 – 2. Despite not being enough to keep playoff chances alive, it was an inspiring performance that filled both fans and interim head coach Christian Lattanzio with pride.
“I’m very, very proud. I watched our team play and I enjoyed it. We created chances, we created chances when we go 1 – 0 down and 2 – 0 down. They scored a goal from the halfway line, the second one was a counterattack. The have those players like Cucho Hernández, Lucas Zelerayn, Derrick Etienne, Luis Diaz who are so quick and can hurt you at any moment. It would be easy to be shaky, but our boys were very mature and aggressive in their play. They went toe-to-toe. I’m not proud... I’m very, very proud of this team.”
It’s been said many times before but it’s always reiterating – Charlotte has a fan atmosphere that is enviable throughout the league, and they once again played a pivotal role in pushing the team until the end.
“Having worked in different leagues and different clubs I can tell you that this crowd is very special. It’s incredible that this is an expansion team. Sometimes you need a big personality to play in front of this crowd because expectation and love is so much. The crowd always brings a lot of energy but I also think those boys give a lot of energy to the crowd.”
Even though playoffs aren’t a possibility anymore for Charlotte, there is still one more match to go before the end of the season. The Club has gone unbeaten for four straight matches so all focus now turns to finishing strong against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
“The last game for us is important because we want to finish well and because morally we need to honor the league and the clubs who are still in contention. We need to try our best because we had this mini-season in mind, the last five games, and so far, we have 3 wins and a draw and we want to keep our momentum.”
As heartbreaking as the result was, Lattanzio wants it to serve as motivation heading into the next match and next season.
“You can see there is disappointment, anger, and sadness because they felt they could have gone all the way and I agree with them. At the same time, I want them to feel this way and to carry this feeling into the next game and into the season because I think this team will make us enjoy more and more games.”
Christian Lattanzio Press Conference | Charlotte FC vs Columbus Crew