Ingredients of the Match

Isolate Orlando's Backline | Ingredients of the Match


Charlotte FC face Orlando City for the first time this season as they host the Lions at Bank of America Stadium in a midweek bout.

Here are the three ingredients of the match:

Isolate Orlando’s Backline

Kerwin Vargas and Liel Abada have emerged as key offensive assets for Charlotte FC, posing significant challenges to opposing defenses. Abada's game-winning brace against Atlanta United and Vargas' decisive goal against D.C. United highlights their effectiveness. This duo's dynamism lies in their speed, quick acceleration, and ambidextrous dribbling, making them formidable in one-on-one situations.

Charlotte's attack is most potent when Vargas and Abada are isolated against individual defenders. Their ability to exploit these scenarios with their unpredictability can be game-changing. Although Patrick Agyemang’s recent scoring has dipped, his physical presence on the field commands attention, drawing defenders and creating space for his teammates.

Orlando's defense, known for its vulnerabilities during transitions and one-on-one situations, can be exploited by placing Charlotte’s wingers in these high-stakes positions.

Work the Keeper

Orlando City SC faces a significant challenge with the absence of their first-choice goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese, who is away for Copa America with the Peruvian national team. Gallese, a key figure since 2020 and an MLS All-Star, leaves a considerable gap in their defense. Mason Stajduhar, who has limited professional experience with just 46 appearances over eight seasons, steps in in his absence. His recent outing against LAFC saw Orlando conceding three goals, indicating potential vulnerabilities.

Charlotte FC can leverage this opportunity by intensifying their attacking efforts against a relatively inexperienced goalkeeper. Their previous match against D.C. United showcased their ability to generate opportunities with 14 shots, but only two were on target. For a successful outcome against Orlando, Charlotte must improve their accuracy, focusing on challenging Stajduhar and converting their chances into goals.

Remain Defensively Stubborn

Defensively, Charlotte FC must remain vigilant to keep Orlando City SC at bay. Despite having the second-worst offensive record in the league, with just 17 goals in 17 matches, Orlando's underperformance relative to their expected goals suggests latent potential. Orlando have a talented roster capable of capitalizing on defensive lapses, even if they have struggled to consistently create dangerous opportunities.

Charlotte's defensive strategy should emphasize avoiding unnecessary mistakes and not allowing Orlando easy chances. Maintaining discipline, minimizing errors, and preventing uncontested shots are crucial to extending their clean sheet streak.

While Orlando have had offensive struggles, they remain dangerous when given the opportunity, necessitating a focused and resilient defensive effort from Charlotte.

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Join us at The Fortress to celebrate Juneteenth as Charlotte FC takes on Orlando City SC Wednesday June 19 at 7:30!