Match Preview

Match Preview: Charlotte FC vs. LAFC


After a Leagues Cup quarterfinal run, Charlotte FC returns to Major League Soccer with a matchup against LAFC at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday, August 26th. With 11 games left to play and the playoff spots within reach, CLTFC will look to go on a good run of form to push themselves into the postseason. As the team prepares to kickstart that run against last year’s MLS Cup Champions, here is everything you need to know ahead of the match.

Match: Charlotte FC vs LAFC

When: Saturday, August 26

Where: Bank of America Stadium

Kickoff: 7:30pm ET

Listen: WFNZ 92.7 FM (English) & WOLS 106.1 FM (Spanish)

For all other radio station affiliates in the Carolinas, click here.

Know Before You Go: For details on matchday at Bank of America Stadium, including a Brandt Bronico Bobblehead gate giveaway, matchday timeline, and more, click here.

Previous Matches:

Charlotte FC 0 – 4 Inter Miami CF (Leagues Cup Quarterfinals | August 11)

LAFC 4 – 0 Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer | August 23)

Eastern Conference Table: For the full live table, click here.

8. CF Montreal – 32 points, 24 GP

9. Chicago Fire – 32 points, 24 GP

---------- Playoff Line ----------

10. D.C. United – 30 points, 25 GP

11. New York Red Bulls – 29 points, 24 GP

12. Charlotte FC – 26 points, 23 GP

Western Conference Table: For the full live table, click here.

1. St. Louis CITY SC – 44 points, 24 GP

2. LAFC – 40 points, 24 GP

3. Real Salt Lake – 37 points, 24 GP

4. Seattle Sounders – 36 points, 25 GP


Chasing Playoff Qualification

CLTFC came up just short of a playoff berth in their inaugural year after a storming end to the season. Needing five wins from their remaining five games, Head Coach Christian Lattanzio talked about approaching it as a “mini season” in order to look to the future with positivity. The team rattled off three straight wins, including a 4-0 demolition of first-placed Philadelphia Union in front of an open upper deck at Bank of America Stadium. Unfortunately, they were knocked out on the penultimate day of the season after a thrilling, end-to-end 2-2 home draw against the Columbus Crew.

A similar mini-season approach will be needed this year, but with more time and room for error than in 2022. The team has 11 games remaining (just under a third of the 34-game regular season slate) and is six points behind Chicago in the final playoff spot, but with a game in hand.

CLTFC writer Caleb Adams explored this mini-season mentality, along with other keys to victory for Saturday, in his latest Ingredients of the Match.


Charlotte FC has some matches where they can get a six-point swing by taking away three potential points from teams close to them in the table. These “six-pointers” against Chicago Fire and D.C. United – currently in ninth and tenth, respectively – will be vital matches for the Crown.

Six of the 11 will be on home turf at Bank of America Stadium, including the final match of the year on Decision Day against Inter Miami CF. Some challenging road games lie ahead, including Cincinnati (first place in the East), New England (second place in the East), and Nashville (Leagues Cup finalists), meaning those six games at home will be important to ease the pressure in a league where away results are notoriously difficult.

Summer Transfer Window Impact

While the Major League Soccer season runs from early spring to late fall with a winter offseason, most major leagues in the world follow the opposite schedule from early fall to late spring with a summer offseason.

This means that the vast majority of players, especially those based in Europe, are typically available as free agents or for a transfer in the summer as teams refresh their squads ahead of a new season. The MLS Secondary Transfer Window from July 5 to August 2, then, is often the most opportune time to bring in major recruits ahead of a late season push into the playoffs.

Last year, CLTFC brought in Adilson Malanda, Nathan Byrne, and Nuno Santos in the summer, but Byrne was only able to squeeze in four games while Malanda made six starts. This year, the Club was able to get their summer recruits in much earlier, adding Scott Arfield, Brecht Dejaegere, and Jere Uronen, who will all be available for the final 11 games of the season.

The impact of these three players will be a significant factor in the push for playoffs. Sporting Director Zoran Krneta and Director of Scouting Thomas Schaling have provided thoughts on all three, as well as the transfer strategy of the Club as a whole.


Dive Deeper:

The Opponent

LAFC find themselves comfortably in second place in the Western Conference on 40 points, just four points back from St. Louis in first place. After a disappointing Leagues Cup quarterfinal against Monterrey, which they lost 3-2 after leading 2-0, LAFC picked up right where they left off in the league with a 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.

However, LAFC will have to fly across the country on short rest after playing at high altitude. Charlotte FC are well-rested after their match against Inter Miami on August 20 was postponed due to both clubs advancing in Leagues Cup.

Winger Denis Bouanga has been the star man for the defending MLS Cup Champions; he sits in second place in the MLS Golden Boot race on 12 goals, just one behind first-placed Hany Mukhtar. Carlos Vela on the other wing is still firing on all cylinders after his 22nd regular season game with a goal and an assist versus the Rapids, putting him second overall since 2000 (Landon Donovan – 35).

The Season So Far

Charlotte FC’s second season got off to a tough start, with one win, three draws, and five losses in the opening eight matches. However, the Crown were able to stabilize in an extremely congested April and May, rattling off five straight wins at home in the league and the U.S. Open Cup. Over the course of the summer, wins were hard to come by, but the team kept themselves in touching distance of the playoffs with five draws in their last six games before the Leagues Cup break.

Leagues Cup served as a great reset for Charlotte FC. One penalty shootout win and one outright win put them through to the knockout stage as group winners, where CLTFC won two straight road games before falling to eventual champions Inter Miami in the quarterfinals. Head Coach Christian Lattanzio’s side will be looking to carry that tournament momentum over to the last third of the MLS regular season.




Gate Giveaway: First fans in attendance will receive a limited-edition Brandt Bronico Bobblehead.

*more details to come