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CHARLOTTE – Interim head coach Christian Lattanzio wins his first match in charge of the team in convincing fashion. Lattanzio credits his player for going above and beyond what was expected to earn the win.

“I thought the boys did even better than I expected. They were really solid, I thought, against a very, very good team. Not just a good team, but were also in their moment, coming from a number of results and playing well. And so it’s always difficult to play them. 

“They boys I thought, that even when Red Bulls tried to put the game in their own terms, we responded well. We would have liked to play more in the first half, create a little more but you have to consider the ability of the opposition. We worked on certain things, it’s surprising, the boys, they were amazing.” 

One of the keys to beating the New York Red Bulls was limiting their chances off second balls. 

“Part of the game was long balls, competing for the second, and we know they are really good to go direct after that. So, it was a case of trying to compete for the second ball, at least not to leave easy pass, and then to cover behind. And I thought the boys executed that really well. "

Lattanzio’s gave center back Jan Sobociński his MLS debut, switching the formation to five at the back to bring extra defensive stability to finish off the match, a tactical adjustment that exemplifies the Italian style of soccer. 

“People say because I’m Italian and I want to play with a lot of defenders,” Lattanzio says smirking on the reasoning for subbing in another defender.  

“I thought it was the fact that they put Fletcher on, which is very dangerous, they had Klimala, all the strikers, Clark who’s a very good player. We knew the ball would come to the box and we had a certain structure.  

“Jan [Sobocinski] is a very good player, he’s solid, he played many games professionally at central defender. I felt that we would have been solid in defending this weapon, which was the main weapon, because we were quite solid in the middle.” 

“But I want to spend a couple of words for all of them. Because this is very, very important for each team, to have players who come and make the difference from the bench.” 

Aside from the first 10 minutes, Charlotte FC were dominant in this match. It was a win that Lattanzio believes his players more than deserve and that the CLTFC fans contributed to. 

“It’s good, it’s great for the boys who deserved it. I’m very happy for them, it’s a group of players that I love. And so they deserved it. It gives them more belief that we can improve in certain things and that the atmosphere that the fans generate here is amazing. 

“So there is this connection between the team and them. There is a lot of belief, they push them, and we feel like we always have a chance because they are the 12th man. They are the 12th man for sure. At home, we are blessed to have this crowd.”