Charlotte FC’s four-match unbeaten streak came to an end in their final match of the season against the New York Red Bulls. The Crown had 72% of the possession and the vast majority of chances but the Red Bulls were able to scrape by and get the win. It’s not how Charlotte wanted to end their season, but the future is looking bright.
With both teams feeling each other out in the first half, seemingly out of nowhere, Red Bulls winger Lewis Morgan attempted an audacious shot from distance that Charlotte FC keeper Pablo Sisniega parried away from the middle, however, the rebound fell to Elias Manoel who cleaned it up with a brilliant near post finish.
The best chances of the half came to Nuno Santos and Karol Świderski . The first was a lovely bit of skill from Santos to switch the ball to his right to get a curling shot off to the far post while the second was a layoff from Ríos to Świderksi. Both shots required great saves from Red Bulls keeper Carlos Coronel, who was up for the task.
Despite the score line, Charlotte was dominant the entire first half and it continued into the second. Within eight minutes Charlotte were able to create three high-quality chances but missed the clinical touch to put them away. It was the opposite case for the Red Bulls’ forward Manuel.
In the 55th minute, he buried a curler into the upper ninety from outside the box completing his brace after not having scored all season. The Red Bulls did well to kill off the game after their second goal, disrupting the tempo Charlotte started the half with.
Charlotte FC will feel disappointed with their final result of the season but have plenty to be proud of in how they ended their first-ever season in MLS, giving themselves and fans much to look forward to in year two.
Plenty to Build Off Of
Interim head coach Christian Lattanzio said coming into the last five matches of the season that the team was approaching them as sort of a mini-season. The result of it has been three wins, one draw, and just one loss – a successful mini-season to say the least.
It was the best run of games for the Crown this season and it was filled with positives that the team can take heading into next season. One of them being that the summer additions of Adilson Malanda, Nuno Santos, and Nathan Byrne were able to familiarize themselves with the league, the system, and their teammates.
Another is the team proving to themselves that they can overcome adversity and are capable of not just competing against but besting the better teams in MLS. As the roller coaster of an inaugural season comes to a close, Charlotte FC have earned their respect and will look to build on an impressive opening campaign in their second season.