RICHMOND – Charlotte FC’s second ever U.S. Open Cup Match went very differently than their first. In their last outing, they were forced into playing several starters and going into overtime by the Greenville Triumph. This time around they got the job done in resounding fashion as they beat the Richmond Kickers 5 – 1.
The Crown was able to get the result they needed with a heavily rotated squad, allowing head coach Miguel Ramírez to rest several of his starters for the match against C.F. Montreal.
“It’s always important to win because I believe it is really difficult to win. It is really, really difficult to win and keep winning, for me, it is the most difficult thing in sports. We showed today that we are a reliable team, we go and get the job done.”
“Thank you to all the fans that came here, they are always with us. We felt them here, we felt them in the game. We really appreciate it.”
Forward Yordy Reyna has experienced a sort of resurgence in the past few weeks. He assisted the game winner against Inter Miami and contributed to four out of the five goals against the Kickers.
“Yordy needed to make a step, like he is doing, making a step in the last two or three weeks. In training and being more crucial for us in the final third. I’m really happy for him, we really need him at this level.”
Another player who shined on the night was McKinze Gaines, who after coming so close to scoring all season long, managed to get a brace against the Kickers. Gaines recounts what the night meant for him.
“It’s always great, as a forward you always want to contribute to goals whether it is scoring them yourself or assisting them. I think I've been close a number of times this season, so it's obviously great to get on the scoresheet not once but twice.”
“You want more, right. As a soccer player, as any professional, you can never be satisfied. It was a good step today, got the goals to help the team to win and advance to the next round which is the most important, but you always want more.”
The focus now immediately shifts to Saturday, where a tough Montreal side will look to end CLTFC’s four game win streak at home.
“We only have two days to prepare for the game,” said Ramírez looking ahead. “But let's see how everybody is tomorrow, who can play, and who’s ready to compete. And try and be competitive at home.”