Charlotte FC head to Houston needing to come away with a result to keep pace in playoff hunt.
Here are the three ingredients of the match for the Houston Dynamo.
Make or Break
The team’s playoff dream took a hit with their back-to-back losses against C.F. Montreal and Austin. And with how incredibly tight the Eastern Conference is, it’s now “make or break” time according to CLTFC defender Anton Walkes.
Every point matters, and if Charlotte wants to make the playoffs, their away record will have to improve. There needs to be a sense of urgency throughout the entire team because from here on out they can’t afford to drop winnable points.
The playoff spots are slowly slipping away but the good news for the Crown is that their destiny is still in their hands.
Improvement in Final Third
If CLTFC want to start winning more games, they’re going to have to start scoring more goals. Defensively the team has been sound but have scored the 5th least amount of goals in the league.
And it’s not because they can’t get into their opponent’s half. The Crown have done well to hold possession and get the ball to final third. But it’s been in the final third where their threat has been extinguished.
As Walkes pointed out after the Austin FC loss, the team needs to “find a way to be more clinical and ruthless.” Improvement in creativity, decisiveness, and sharpness in the final third will be needed to improve what has been a predictable Charlotte team on offense.
Seize the Opportunity
The Dynamo started their season strong but are currently going through a rough patch, having lost seven out of their last ten matches. Walkes and the team believe this match can serve as a lift-off point to build momentum for the rest of the season.
“We need to focus on what's next, because it's a great opportunity to go and turn things around,” said Walkes.
Nothing is guaranteed in MLS, but this is as good of a chance as Charlotte will get to earn their first away win, which will help build on their confidence for the rest of the season.