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CHARLOTTE – After a tough loss against the Philadelphia Union last week, Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Ramírez saw large strides being taken by his team when it comes to their build-up play. 

“It was the game with the best build-up we’ve had this season, because of the structure and numerical superiority.” 

In that same match, however, goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina made a mistake that led to a goal but instead of being bashed for it, Ramírez celebrated his goalkeeper’s commitment to staying true to the game model. 

“I gave him my love like I always do. I congratulated him in front of everybody on the second day of training... I congratulated him because he stayed true to the game model. I prefer them to make mistakes by being true to ourselves, playing our game model.” 

CLTFC discovered who they would be playing the Greenville Triumph for their first-ever U.S. Open Cup match. A moment that Ramírez believes is important for soccer in the Carolinas. 

“For the Carolinas, it’s a really good moment, for our soccer. The soccer of the Carolinas. It has to be a party for everybody. For South Carolina to host the MLS club that we have now. Always the Cup, everywhere, is a funny competition. It’s a chance for the smaller clubs to beat the big ones, not saying we are a big one.... yet,” chuckles Ramírez. 

As a coach focusing strictly on things related to on the pitch, Ramírez doesn’t pay much attention to the rivalry talk between Charlotte and Atlanta. His players, however, see it as a “revenge game” which is something that Ramírez accepts as long as they are using it as fuel to help push them. 

“I don’t usually think like that, but if this works for them to be more ‘on’, to be more with willingness for it’s fine. Whatever it takes to be more competitive is fine with me.” 

The last time these two clubs met was in Charlotte’s 3rd ever MLS game. When asked if Charlotte is better prepared for this match compared to the first... 

“Yeah, yeah. One hundred percent. Also playing against them again, now my players feel that as a team they aren’t better than us. We can compete and we can win. We were very close to tying the game last time. So yeah, one hundred percent.”

Charlotte FC vs. Atlanta United | Sun, Apr 10 at 1:30 PM

Charlotte FC vs. Atlanta United | Sun, Apr 10 at 1:30 PM

Charlotte FC vs. Atlanta United | Sun, Apr 10 at 1:30 PM