CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Interim head coach, Christian Lattanzio, recently praised defender Guzmán Corujo saying “he’s one of those defenders that loves defending.” Corujo currently sits 4th in total interceptions across the entire league, a statistic that was a pleasant surprise for someone in their first-ever year in the league.
“I think you’re born with those [defensive] characteristics because I’ve seen players that have started their careers as attackers but transitioned into defense in an impressive manner. It’s something I’ve done since I was a kid, I’ve always played defense, and it really is something I like, I like defending a lot.
“I love to fight for the ball, to recover the ball, and to gain possession of it quickly. But I think it’s something you are born with, something you already have inside of you that comes out when fighting for the ball.
“I don’t pay attention to stats, I just do whatever I can to help the team in every moment... but on the personal level, it’s a stat that I like and it’s nice to be recognized in the league in only the first six months of me being here. To generate that respect from others is good on a personal level.”
Despite the language barrier between Lattanzio and Corujo, the Uruguayan says that Lattanzio has built a great connection not only with himself but with the team as a whole.
“Christian [Lattanzio] is a person that is very close to the player, that wants to know how you are doing as an individual. As well as for the group as a whole. I think the Club is in a good spot, there is good communication with the coach which is important to gauge how the players feel so there is a give and take where players can also participate in certain decisions which helps us see things from different perspective.”
The team took steps forward as they came back against the Columbus Crew to earn their second point away – the first time they’ve earned points away after conceding first – but to earn that elusive first away win, Corujo says the team needs to focus on the details.
“Everyone knows it’s hard to win, whether it is home or away, but winning away perhaps more. There are a lot of factors outside of football that can influence this. But it’s just been games that haven’t gone our way. We played well in many of them, and in some, I think we deserved more luck in the final results.
“But we are all conscious that we have to take that next step to grow as a team and as a group to win that first game away from home. We are aware of this and obviously, we are working on it. We just have to focus on the details that are needed to win as the visiting team.
“We are competing well against every opponent, and I think we aren’t far from that first away win.”