Charlotte FC Head Coach Christian Lattanzio spoke to media on Wednesday ahead of the Club’s away match against league-leading LAFC, touching on injury updates, analysis of the loss to Chicago, and moving forward to Los Angeles.
While he confirmed that Guzman Corujo – who has started all 23 league games – will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury, he emphasized the leadership role the Uruguayan still has to play.
“We want to support him as much as we can in many different ways. He still is an important part of our team, even though he will be more occupied with his recovery. For me, he is an important person before that to help us develop our team. So, I will want him to be very close to us to help us to look at the defensive side of the game even though he will not be able to take part.
“This is football, and in football this can happen. In every sport, you can have injuries, and opportunities will come for other players.”
Look for Anton Walkes and Christian Fuchs to continue to play major roles on the backline, but Corujo’s injury could mean important opportunities for young Pole Jan Sobocinski and new acquisition Adilson Malanda (once he obtains his visa) down the stretch.
After analyzing the loss against Chicago last time out, Lattanzio felt that key midfield turnovers and transition moments were costly.
“I think we did go for the second and third goal [after scoring early]. It’s just that we didn’t play strong in certain transitions - we lost the ball too easily in midfield.
“Especially the way we want to play, we want to create a lot and be open with our players. We can’t afford to lose simple balls in midfield because we invite transitions. And, if we do lose the ball, we have to recover the ball differently and better. I thought that these transition moments cost us a lot, too much.
“I felt for the boys because I was really proud of their performance. This is a team that goes out on the pitch and tries to create – we had so many chances in the first half and even after the 2-2.”
Moving forward to LAFC, Lattanzio emphasized the importance of the team’s consistent game-by-game mentality, even with the season winding down and potential playoff scenarios, tiebreakers, and other potential distractions coming to the fore.
“Before the tiebreakers, there is a number of points [first]… I think we have to look at it game-by-game and we cannot make too many calculations at this stage.
“Our focus is mainly to see us improving as a team and to play a strong game. LAFC is one of the best teams in the league without a doubt, but we want to compete and make everyone proud of our performance.”