COLORADO – Charlotte FC is playing their 3rd match in seven days against the Colorado Rapids who play in Denver, known as the Mile High City because of their elevation. Head coach Miguel Ramírez thinks it will be a challenge but one that the team is fully prepared for.
“It’s a challenge of course but we try not to overthink too much. Now we are just focused on game preparation, what are the keys to this game, and try to compete at our best level.
“Of course, we will have players who didn’t play Wednesday, so they are fresh and ready. I would say most of them. I’m not worried about that, and we have a deep squad to face this game.”
As for what he sees in his opponent, Ramírez describes the Rapids as super aggressive and physical and in a way unpredictable because they change their behaviors with every match.
“Defensively they are super aggressive, they have a physical profile which always them to go man to man across the pitch... They have a very physical which allows them to do that because they are strong, fast, and willing to work. They are very disciplined to be able to keep up that energy for a lot of the game.”
“They are also very, very vertical. Super vertical. They always want to push the ball forward whether they have an advantage or not or whether they have spaces or not. They have no problem in the individual duels, they have the quality to do so.
"They change a lot within the game. Sometimes they go for a very deep defense and wait for you in their half. Sometimes they go man-marking full pitch. Aggressive, high. They are really, really different behaviors, so we need to be ready for any of those behaviors.”
The storyline plaguing CLTFC is their lack of points away from home but Ramírez says they don’t focus on home or away, they are strictly focused on winning no matter where or the occasion.
“When I have been preparing for games, I don’t think about us playing away or home. Or whether it is the Cup or MLS. We prepare for games to win. And the players only think about winning whether it’s at home or away.
“We don’t move with those opinions, that just results-based, and that mold according to what they see. We have a very clear route. We always feel the pressure to win, it’s always good, that’s why we play, to win. Does a kid go out of the street to play soccer to lose? We all play soccer to win.
“We have it really clear that we always want to win. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t because the result doesn’t exclusively depend on us. Never. Games have so many open variables, some are factors of luck, tactics, and technical. There are so many factors that we can’t control, but what is in our hands we will always try our best to be closer to winning than losing."