PHILADELPHIA – It was a tough night for Charlotte FC that required not only overcoming physical adversity but also mental adversity. It wasn’t enough in the end, but CLTFC head coach Miguel Ramírez believes that there are still positives to take from tonight’s match.
“We kept fighting, we kept fighting. We tried and kept trying. With both goals we were unfortunate. The first came from a bit of disorganization and then the 2nd one... I made a decision which I believe produced fruits in this match.
“When it came to playing with the ball, I thought this was the best we’ve been. We were figuring out how to progress, finding the spaces, and seeing where the advantages were. In that aspect, I thought we had a good game.
“But this is Philadelphia, it may seem like they are doing nothing, but then go on to win 2 – 0. But they were two goals that they were timely on. They also had some other good opportunities in the match. But I thought, for the most part, the match was under control.
“The important thing though is that despite this team being so young and new, we were able to compete with this caliber of team until the very end.”
The loss was likely no harder on anyone than CLTFC goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina, who has been one of the Club’s standout players but was at fault for the second goal conceded after an uncharacteristic mistake.
“Critics are going criticize us whether we play out of the back or play direct, whether we press high or sit low, whether we play with four or five at the back. Before that mistake, Kristijan had some 50 positive actions. So let’s focus on those 50 actions instead of the one mistake.”
In their opening six matches, Charlotte FC has played some of the toughest teams in MLS, but Ramírez has seen it as great learning opportunities for the team to grow and improve.
“We have already faced LA, New England, Philly, who are all really good teams and have really good players. It’s really good training for us to keep improving, to keep learning, to keep competing, and learn from each other.”
“For example, we’ve been missing important guys due to national team duty but we have been able to compete at the same level. This is so good for the internal competitiveness and the health of the group.
One of Ramírez’s players that has competed hard from day one has been captain and defender Christian Fuchs who is already looking ahead to the big match next Sunday against rival, Atlanta United.
“It’s always going to be tough here. Philly is a very physical team, but we gave our everything in the game. It was a really tough game. We tried, we tried hard... It’s just one of those days that you have to forget about," said Fuchs. "We have another great home game against Atlanta where we can see how we developed from the first game to this one and I’m really looking forward to that already.”