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CHARLOTTE – Going into the match against C.F. Montreal, Miguel Ramírez has nothing but admiration for his opponent. Montreal currently sits in 3rd place in the East and hasn’t lost for seven games straight, scoring a whopping 18 goals during that streak. 

“They are the team I like the most. I really like what they try to do. I don’t see anything random. You see some movements and patterns done on purpose. What I really like is the coaching process behind it.” 

“They are one of the most distinct teams in MLS. They aren’t afraid to try new things and that is something I really like.” 

He praises their ability to be “multi-dimensional” and not a one-trick-pony team others may make them out to be. A key part of Montreal’s dynamism is their talisman, Djorde Mahailovic, who is an MVP contender and a focus in CLTFC’s planning for this match. 

“He’s a player that plays between the lines... a player like him, given space, will kill you. 

“For me, the most important thing is to not give him space to receive, turn, and fast line because it is where he can dribble, make that last pass or get a shot on target. He always creates something, he's a really creative player and he’s able to cause trouble. 

“The most important thing is to always be in this stance, to always be aware, to be close to reduce the space and time he can have.” 

Charlotte FC continues their home stretch, back at Bank of America Stadium, a venue that is getting recognition around the league as one of the best fan atmospheres in MLS. Ramírez has personally received an abundance of support from CLTFC fans, which he attributes to their empathy and his willingness to repay that love and support. 

“I don’t want to romanticize but at the end of the day, human beings seek love. To give and receive love. I try to give that to the people I work with, the players, the coaching staff, and to the fans as well. I feel very loved and respected. And I want to give the fans the same thing because of what they do for us. 

“I think this is a give and take. I think they’ve understood from the very first day how hard it has been. It hasn’t been empathy from me, it’s been empathy from the fans.”