Charlotte FC head back to where it all began – Washington, D.C.. Sitting only 2 points behind D.C. United, the Crown have an opportunity to jump higher up the table from their trip to the nation's capital.
Here are the three ingredients of the match for D.C. United.
Deny Benteke Service
It was only about a year ago that D.C. United striker Christian Benteke was regularly playing in the Premier League. As you can imagine, the Belgian is a critical part of how Head Coach Wayne Rooney sets up and instructs his team.
He stands at an imposing six foot three inches and knows how to leverage that height as good as anyone. He serves as a focal point for the entire D.C. attack in the build-up, winning headers and holding up play to help to start and finish attacking sequences.
D.C. struggle to initiate attacks when they can’t reach Benteke, so obstructing passing lanes to and around him will hinder an already limited attack.
Control Your Airspace
D.C. is a team that relies heavily on crosses from both open play and set pieces to create scoring opportunities. They have two wingbacks in Pedro Santos and Ruan who specialize in delivering balls into the box. At the end of those crosses will be non-other than the striker partnership of Benteke and Taxiarchis Fountas along with crashing midfielders like Mateusz Klich who stands at six feet himself.
Making sure to mark and position well within the box will be essential. As well as dealing with second balls and the chaos that can ensue from crosses. Charlotte just came off their first clean sheet of the season and if they control their airspace, they could return home with back-to-back clean sheets.
Fuel the DP Connection
Slowly but surely, the connection between Charlotte’s DPs Enzo Copetti and Karol Świderski is improving. Head Coach Christian Lattanzio had this to say about the duo following the Columbus Crew win, “I’ve seen them play the best game so far together.”
We’ve seen just how much both players can affect games individually but combined? Sky’s the limit. Continuing to set up the duo for success, like they have been with Lattanzio’s tactical shifts, not only helps their connection but improves the team as a whole.
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