Charlotte FC is headed to Philadelphia to play against one of the hottest teams in the league. The Union are undefeated and has won three straight games but CLTFC has momentum of their own off back-to-back wins.
Here are the three ingredients of the match to keep an eye on against the Union.
Match Philly’s Hustle
The Philadelphia Union emulates the blue-collar identity the city is known for. They are a team that is gritty, tough and will look to outwork anyone they face.
For Charlotte FC to have a chance to earn some points away in Philadelphia, they will first have to match Philly’s notorious work rate. This will only be enhanced by the Union coming into this match off a bye week due to the international break.
They will have fresh legs and energy to spare - in addition to a home crowd - to come out relentless against CLTFC. It will be a hard-fought battle for 90 minutes in Philadelphia, so never letting up will be critical in competing throughout the match.
“I believe that we are a tough opponent, even if there is something better than us in front, I believe we are tough,” said Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Ramírez about his team. “Our guys compete and compete, don’t give up and keep fighting.”
CLTFC have shown that they are a team with heart and will need to play with every ounce of it in their confrontation against Philadelphia.
Clean it Up
Charlotte FC is fresh off back-to-back wins, the most recent one a 2 – 0 win against FC Cincinnati. They were solid performances all-around but were not without fault.
The team is still in its infancy, so naturally, there are areas that the team needs to improve on. Some of these areas will only improve with time but others are things they can focus on right away.
FC Cincinnati didn’t get many clear-cut chances to score against CLTFC but the chances they got mostly came from sloppy play by Charlotte. The Union are the type of team that excels at forcing mistakes from their opponents and capitalizing on them.
So, Charlotte will have to be at their absolute best to avoid potentially costly mistakes against the Union.
The coaches in this matchup come from vastly different schools of soccer; Jim Curtin wants to play a very direct style without any focus on keeping the ball, while keeping the ball and playing patiently is a Miguel Ramírez staple.
Despite the difference in playing styles, both coaches put their game systems over everything. Rather than relying on individuals, their game models are designed to have their team play as a unit.
The match won’t only be a physical battle between players but a tactical one between an established MLS coach and an up-and-coming one.
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