DENVER – In their third match in seven days, Charlotte FC earned their first points away from home against the Colorado Rapids. Head coach Miguel Ramírez is proud of his players’ resilience and commitment to compete despite the many challenges they faced leading up to the match.
“Imagine how proud I am. I told them a few days that the strength of this group is that they train so hard every day. In the moment that they don’t bring this energy, I pressed them, I pushed them saying we can not give one training for free. We need to be on top of every single day.
“It was even more difficult because we didn’t have the chance to prepare for the game. The players were exhausted. Thursday we traveled and on Friday it was terrible weather to train in, it was super windy and just very bad conditions to prepare for the game... so many challenges before this game to be able to compete.
“But this group, you know, are super competitive. They want to win every game. They don’t care if the play away or home, they want to be the same team every game.
“We are happy with the clean sheet and to get a point but we want to win. We want to win. That competitive nature is what allows us to compete despite being what we are. Being a smaller team that is just starting out and with all the challenges that we are having. But we always compete. That mentality from the players and the coaching staff is what is helping us earn points.”
The first half of the match was pretty even across the board but in the second half, it was all Charlotte. Ramírez on what time adjustments they made that led to the dominant half.
“We were talking about defensive organization, our positioning, some key points to be more effective defending. And also the way to progress, because sometimes we had the chance to link the lines, instead of playing straight to Karol and Danny.
So, we were able to have these passes in our mind, in consideration of the center backs, and we were able to connect with these players inside. So we were able to link the lines and have more people in the final third. That’s why Titi [Ortiz], Alan [Franco], Jordy [Alcívar] were with more presence in the last third.”
CLTFC goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina, said it was difficult not to feel a little frustrated not to get the win but stresses that as long as they keep playing like they did, the team will continue to get points away.
“Today was important to get some points to increase our confidence. We spoke in the dressing room that we just need to keep playing at this level and the points will come... but if we keep this level of playing we will earn more and more points away from home.”