Ingredients of the Match

Dominating Aerial Battles | Ingredients of the Match


Charlotte FC hosts Nashville SC at home to wrap up their regular season series against their Southeastern neighbors.

Here are the three ingredients of the match:

Multiple Goal Trend

Ever since their introduction into the league in 2020, Nashville has epitomized defensive resilience. Historically, they've been a tough nut to crack, but this season has seen a shift.

Nashville finds themselves conceding the 4th highest number of goals in the Eastern Conference this season, altering their defensive reputation. Similar to Charlotte's recent match against the Portland Timbers, there should be plenty of opportunities for scoring against them.

Charlotte has only managed to score multiple goals in three games this season, all ending in victories. Conversely, Nashville hasn't clinched a single victory this season when conceding more than one goal in seven matches.

There’s a good chance Charlotte will create enough opportunities to score at least two goals, and if they make the most of them, they’ll be in the driver’s seat for back-to-back wins.

Successive Shutouts

While goals may secure wins, a solid defense often proves more pivotal over a season. Charlotte demonstrated this in their recent 2-0 triumph over the Timbers.

Charlotte missed some big opportunities early in that match and in other matches this season, where they’ve paid for it. However, The Crown had one of their best defensive displays and kept the Timbers scoreless long enough to close the game out late.

A strong defense ensures more forgiving matches and guarantees at least a point from games. Charlotte endured a five-match streak without a clean sheet before silencing one of the league's most potent offensive teams (Portland have scored the third-most goals in the league).

This defensive masterclass should instill confidence in a team that prides itself on being tough to beat, with consecutive shutouts being instrumental in securing back-to-back home wins.

Dominating Aerial Battles

In their previous encounter this season, Nashville posed a significant threat to Charlotte through aerial duels, with both goals in their 2-0 victory originating from headers.

Success in aerial battles hinges on two main factors: delivery and positioning.

Preventing crosses effectively nullifies the threat of headed goals. Nashville exploited wide spaces to deliver crosses in their last meeting with Charlotte. Most recently, Charlotte conceded a crucial goal against New York City FC due to a failure to prevent a cross.

However, if crosses are delivered, proper positioning becomes imperative. Tracking runners, effective communication, and positioning oneself to contest crosses are all major factors in challenging aerial threats.

Head Coach Dean Smith, for what it’s worth, agrees with the point. At Thursday’s press conference, he had this to say in response to a question on what Charlotte can do to stop Nashville attackers Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge.

“We can certainly defend a cross better than we did at their place [at Nashville] when he [Surridge] scored a header, a good header,” Smith said with a chuckle.

Center backs Adilson Malanda and Andrew Privett face a difficult task against the likes of six-foot-three Sam Surridge, but CLTFC Head Coach Dean Smith remains confident in his team's defensive improvements since their previous encounter.

“He’s a good player... but I think we’re an improved back four since then, as well.”

Hey Charlotte FC Fans,

When it comes to Match Day…it’s all about the food (and getting ready for it) and Harris Teeter has everything you need. Score big with deals from great brands like these:

Farmer Focus Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, and Chicken Party Wings

Dryers Chocolate Drumstick Sundae Cones and Vanilla and Strawberry Lil Drum Sundae Cones

Stop in your Harris Teeter for great savings on Match Day essentials.

Upper Bowl Open & Deck of Cards Giveaway presented by Bojangles

Upper Bowl Open & Deck of Cards Giveaway presented by Bojangles

The Upper Bowl is OPEN and tickets are starting at $15! Get there early to receive custom Charlotte FC playing cards presented by Bojangles.