IOTM

D.C. United were able to take advantage of an inexperienced side in their first encounter with Charlotte FC in the Crown's first-ever MLS match. However, Charlotte are a different team now but so are the Black and Red.

Here are the three ingredients of the match against the nation's capital:

Hit Them Early

D.C. have had their defensive woes this season, but they’ve been particularly vulnerable in the first 15 minutes of a match. They’ve conceded in the opening 15 minutes in five of their last seven matches and they went on to lose four out of the five.

Nothing is guaranteed in soccer, but recent history has shown that if you’re able to score early on against D.C., the likelihood of earning a positive result shifts heavily in your favor. On Charlotte’s side, in the four home matches they did score in the first 15 minutes, they won all of them. Putting the pressure early will take advantage of D.C.'s fragile defense in the opening minutes which could potentially reap a goal that dictates the rest of the match in Charlotte's favor.

Stop That Taxi

There’s a new cab in the city that’s carrying this D.C. team and the driver’s name is Taxiarchis Fountas, who’s more commonly known as just Taxi. D.C.’s new striker has been a revelation for them since his arrival in March, scoring 11 goals and assisting three in twelve starts.

In and around the box he is a lethal weapon and it’s not because of great service from his teammates. Taxi is the type of player that creates his own shot and punishes you for giving him any sort of space around the box. Limiting his touches around the box by blocking passing lanes to him will help prevent Taxi from claiming another victim.

Don’t Underestimate D.C.

It would be easy to underestimate this D.C. side because they currently sit dead last in the Eastern Conference and they’ve had some embarrassing performances like their record-tying 0 – 7 loss against the Philadelphia Union.

However, they’ve recently hired English International, Manchester United legend, and former D.C. United player, Wayne Rooney, as their new head coach. The “new coach boost” is a very real thing in soccer, and we’ve already seen the effects of it in D.C.

In their last match, they came back to win against Orlando City scoring two goals in extra time – the kind of win that can completely shift the belief in a locker room. Never underestimate the power of a new coach and a dramatic late win... and well it’s also MLS and anything can happen so treat every opponent like they are the best team in the league.

In partnership with Harris Teeter, CLTFC is bringing you the Ingredients of the Match ahead of every time our team takes the pitch during this inaugural season. While the ingredients may differ from week to week, one thing we can all agree on is when it comes to matchday, it’s all about the food and the preparation and Harris Teeter has what you need. Score big with deals from great brands like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, KitKat, Hershey Bars for your sweet tooth needs and Tide and Bounty for your match day personal prep! Harris Teeter, an Official Grocery Store of Charlotte FC!