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It’s no secret that Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Ramírez wants to play the most attractive brand of soccer in MLS. When he first joined the Club back in July of 2021, he described his playing philosophy as wanting to “be the protagonist on offense and defense.”

But to be the protagonist of anything it takes hard work and time, especially if it’s a complex game model like Ramirez’s. The team is still only five games into the season but after some early glimpses of the system in action, it’s been in the previous two games where we’ve seen CLTFC become closer to the protagonists they are striving to be.

This goal against the New England revolution epitomizes what Ramírez-Ball is all about. Being patient in possession until the opponent gives an opening, exploiting such opening, and using passing combinations in the final third to create an opening for a goal-scoring opportunity.

This sequence had 17 passes where every player, but one touched the ball. But passing the ball for the sake of passing it doesn’t accomplish anything. Passes must be purposeful, whether they are being used to shift the defense or break through defensive lines, possession only means as much as what you do with it.

“What my team does with possession is all that matters to me,” said Ramírez when asked about the lower percentage of possession the team had in their 3 – 1 win against the New England Revolution. Ultimately, the objective is to create as many scoring opportunities as possible to give your team the best shot at scoring.

So how does Ramírez’s game model do that? By creating numerical advantages around the pitch that opens up space or gives players more passing options. But apart from creating pretty goals, why are numerical advantages the key to it all?

It may sound painfully obvious, but it can’t be overstated – having more players than your opponent always increases the likelihood of your team benefitting from a situation. Even when you take the quality of a player into consideration, there’s only so much the best defender in the world can do outnumbered.

Rather than solely relying on individual brilliance to create scoring opportunities, Ramírez has a system that can consistently create those opportunities. Players are human beings at the end of the day, they won’t be at their best every game and they’ll get injured, and for those reasons that is why a system is key to the success of a team.

We are seeing the fruits of the tireless work the coaches and players put in as Ramírez’s playing style blossoms in front of us. And while there is still a long way to go, the early signs have shown that the team is on the right track.

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