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CHARLOTTE – Despite being down a player for the last 40 minutes of the match, Charlotte FC dug deep and outlasted the reigning champs to complete the sweep over New York City FC. After frustrating back-to-back losses where Charlotte were arguably the better side, interim head coach Christian Lattanzio is ecstatic that his players were finally rewarded for a strong showing with a win.

“I am first and foremost very, very happy for the players and for the football club. You know I put myself at the service of this football club and those players. So, I felt more for them than for me when we don't get the result because I think that they put the effort they deserve. Today, I thought that we played well until obviously, we weren’t 11 vs 11, and then after we had to protect...

“To defend the way we did and not concede many chances given that of course, we had to concede a little bit of territory, I thought this was a testament to our discipline... the boys were very determined to stand their ground in that situation. They tried many times to unpick us, but we were very competent and everybody worked so hard.”

Lattanzio made a significant tactical change for NYCFC that was key in the team’s dynamism in the attack which led to good scoring opportunities. That change was shifting striker Karol Świderski down to the attacking midfielder role and starting Daniel Ríos as the striker where the two linked up to score the game-winning goal.

“Karol [Świderski] as an attacking midfielder has that kind of license to go wherever the game needs to because we want to build to create chances up front. Obviously, we still are improving, we need to improve, but I thought that Karol can play this role really well. It also allows us to have Danny [Ríos], that for me is a natural goal scorer, as he showed today. And I believe I believe in Danny and I think that he can give us an extra dimension to the game.”

Charlotte were successful in disrupting NYCFC’s game which led to some frustrations from the Pigeons which led to a scuttle between the two sides. Lattanzio says that he’s proud of his players for standing up for each other while also not crossing the line.

“I love this unity that they have. I don't think that they were nasty. They were just protecting their teammates. They come together and I am proud of them when they do that. No one, I think, went over the top they just stood their ground.

“Maybe we could have done it even more in the season but with a new team takes a little bit of time. But I think that when they do that for me that shows unity, shows togetherness, shows team spirit, and I'm proud of them when they stand their ground. I really am.”

On how important it was to end Charlotte’s three-match losing streak at home, this is what Lattanzio had to say...

“Super important. First of all, for the fans. Because as I said many times, this is one of the best fanbases and I really mean that, I'm not here just to try to blow anything behind the fan base. I loved it from day one, they come together with so much passion, with so much energy and we need to give them as much as we can.

“Sometimes the results we can’t control the outcome, but it's important that we give everything for them, everything for this football club. Especially for them because this fan base deserves that. I am very, very pleased that we could give them three points.”