CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC are still buzzing from the midweek win against Premier League giants, Chelsea FC. Friendly or not, giving a team with the quality of Chelsea a difficult match is nothing to scoff at. Interim head coach, Christian Lattanzio hopes that the team can build off the belief such a game provides but also not get too carried away. 

“It was a special night in front of special supporters. And it was a great, great game for us to play just to give us also the bearing of where we are, but we have to keep humble, and we have to see all the things that we need to keep working and improving on.” 

Up next is Toronto FC, who will most likely be debuting some of the biggest signings in MLS history –Italian duo Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. Players that as a fellow Italian, Lattanzio is all too familiar with. They are the types of signings that can change the course of Toronto's season despite the team sitting second to last in the Eastern Conference. 

“Listen, Toronto has always been a tough, tough team to play against there is real football, enthusiasm and culture behind the club. And the signings that they have made, I mean, they will be signings, very good signings for big teams in Europe. 

“So to have in Insigne, Bernardeschi, Criscito added to the to the squad as well as the names that they already have with Kaye with Bradley and the other ones, you know, Osorio, plus few good young players and experienced players at the back. I think in my opinion it's one of the best squads in the MLS, so it's going to be a difficult game.” 

The Eastern Conference playoff race is incredibly tight and every match from here until the end of the season is critical. The win against Chelsea was a historic occasion for the Club but Lattanzio stresses that the team’s focus needs to shift back to competing for playoffs. 

“We have big games coming up. And we need to fight to go as far as possible on the table because we want to have a chance to arrive to playoffs, at least to be with a fighting chance. And we want to focus and refocus quickly on the matches that we have in front. That is an important match for us, like all the games from now until the end of season.”