Charlotte FC are still on the hunt for their first points of the season as they head down south to face Orlando City. It will be a golden opportunity to steal some points from a stubborn Orlando side who will be balancing two matches played in the same week.
Here are the three ingredients to keep an eye on against the Lions:
A common theme throughout Charlotte FC’s opening three matches has been mistakes. They've conceded three goals in each of their last two matches but it had to do more because of Charlotte’s own doing than getting outplayed.
It’s hard enough as it is to earn points in a highly competitive Eastern Conference, it's extra difficult if you’re shooting yourself in the foot. The Crown have been unfortunate to have paid dearly for these mistakes but the positive is that this is an area the team still has control over.
Head coach Christian Lattanzio has harped on how staying concentrated throughout 90 minutes is critical to a team’s success. Games are won and lost through single moments that are taken advantage of by the team who’s locked in mentally.
Create Your Own Luck
It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that Charlotte FC has suffered from a case of bad luck. Unlucky bounces, questionable refereeing decisions, or unintentional handball are things that Charlotte has experienced early on this season. Luck has always played been a factor in sports, but the best teams can leverage it into more of an advantage than disadvantage by generating their own luck.
Forcing mistakes through defensive pressure, providing dangerous service on both crosses and set pieces, wining 50/50 duels, and just the willingness to shoot the ball even if it only a half chance are all ways to generate luck in your favor. Things we have seen opposing teams leverage and benefiting from but Charlotte has yet to tap into.
Keep Things Simple
One of the main reasons Charlotte was clicking at the end of last season was because Lattanzio had kept things simple but clear. Players were playing in the positions they were most comfortable in, allowing them to play more freely because of it.
Simplicity and pragmatism were part of the recipe at the end of last season that worked in Charlotte’s favor. Not just for Charlotte, MLS history shows us that in general having solid defensive organization, putting players in their best roles, and having simple but clear attacking sequences is a recipe that wins championships.
Overly complicating things can lead to confusion, confusion leads to discomfort, and discomfort leads to drops in individual performances. Keeping things simple could potentially allow for more individual expression from a talented group of CLTFC players.
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