Dean Smith

Dean Smith Gives Update on Liel Abada and Previews FC Cincinnati


Three weeks have passed since Charlotte FC unveiled the acquisition of their new designated player, Liel Abada, formerly of Celtic. Following a period of waiting for the visa procedures and an international window, the Crown's new 22-year-old winger was finally integrated into the team today.

When questioned about the readiness of his new signing, Head Coach Dean Smith shared insights on the timeline he anticipates for Abada's readiness to hit the ground running.

“He’s just been involved in the international window,” started Smith. “He played 25 minutes for Israel, so I would expect his fitness levels to be up there.

“I spoke to the people I know at Celtic as well and there were no qualms about his fitness levels, so I don't expect him to have lost too much fitness.

Smith hasn’t shied away from utilizing his new signings immediately as shown when Djibril Diani started a tough road game against Nashville following the completion of his VISA process just a few days prior.

With a surge of fresh faces, including those promoted from Crown Legacy FC and new signings joining the squad, Smith now has a wealth of options at his disposal. Competition across the squad is abundant, exactly how Smith wants it.

“I think that’s what you want as a coach, and my job is to, with my own eyes, judge what I feel to be our best 11 is and stand by that,” said Smith. “Also to let the players know why that is and give the others who aren't playing the opportunity to work hard to get into the team. I like to have those choices.”

With the bolstered squad, Charlotte aims to stretch their flawless home win streak to three this season and maintain their unbeaten run at Bank of America Stadium, which spans 12 matches and extends into the previous season.

“It's really important to try and keep the momentum we've got, and keep doing the right things,” said Smith regarding the team’s home form. “We know we're coming up against the Supporter Shield Winners unbeaten, so far this season in the MLS...

We're trying to pick holes in the way they play. We'll try and negate their strengths but it's going to be a tough game for us. But like I said after the game last week at home, with our supporters, we feel there's a real strong bond, and that gives you that extra man.”