Full Time NYRB

CHARLOTTE – It’s a dream start for life under interim head coach Christian Lattanzio for Charlotte FC as they beat the best away team in MLS, the Red Bulls, 2 – 0. It was a strong showing from the home side as it could have easily been won by more goals.

It was a shaky start for the CLTFC as they had to get readjusted to MLS play after a long break for the international window. The Red Bulls did what they do best – press hard to create chaos.

Early in the match it worked as CLTFC scrambled to gain any kind of control. But the tremulous start didn’t last long. After connecting some passes, Charlotte settled into the game.

Apart from a couple scares, the Red Bulls didn’t threaten CLTFC much only registering two shots on target compared to CLTFC’s seven. As the half dwindled, it seemed that NYRB were going to be able to hold CLTFC scoreless into the half.

But a long-range effort from Ben Bender took a favorable deflection to open up the scoring and give the Crown the deserved lead going into the half.

The beginning of the second half resembled much of the end of the first but soon legs began tiring. Around the 60th minute the match started to open up as both teams were playing end-to-end.

Charlotte had three clear chances to seal the game but couldn’t finish their chances keeping Red Bulls in the match. Finally, in the 91st minute substitutes Sergio Ruiz and Derrick Jones linked up to seal the victory.

Freedom in Attack

Early into the Lattanzio era, the most noticeable difference was the team’s increased freedom in the attack. Players bombed forward into the attack, took opposing players on, and combined quickly.

Throughout the season, CLTFC had done well to progress the ball to the final third but looked lethargic once they arrived. In areas where they used to opt to pass sideways or backward, they now looked to push it forward instead.

While the team held on to possession like they normally do, they weren’t afraid to play more direct when they saw openings. And none of it was random. Player runs were targeted toward the far post, middle, and near posts to provide options across the entire box.

It’s only been a week under Lattanzio but his influence is already noticeable.