CHARLOTTE – For the first time in four straight games, Charlotte FC tasted defeat on home soil. It was a 2 – 0 loss against C.F. Montreal, a team that CLTFC head coach Miguel Ramírez believes is an MLS Cup contender and showed why on the night.
“I believe it [the score] reflected the difference between the teams... but I believe we created more to deserve something but that is the difference between Montreal and Charlotte FC.
“They are a top team, a candidate to win MLS, no doubt about that. They have good players and a very good coach. They know what to do and how to do it, and I expected something very difficult, very, very tough for us.
But I believe we could control them for many moments. In many moments. But when you have clear chances against these teams, and you don’t score. They will punish you.”
The final scoreline didn’t show the fight that the CLTFC players put up throughout the second half as they pushed until the very last whistle to make a comeback. Ramírez continues to be astonished by his players’ tenacity.
“I learned one more time that my players don’t give up in any circumstance. We finished the game believing we could tie, and this is something amazing from this group. They don’t care about the score, they try to go, to score, to get more chances. You didn’t see anyone with their head down and giving up during the game. They wanted to try again, to try again, to this is something I learned from my boys."
The MLS season is now one-third of the way in, and Ramírez reflects on what he’s learned from his team in his first twelve games in charge.
“For me, I didn’t feel in any game that we weren’t able to compete. I never saw a game that we played where there was a huge, huge difference between an opponent and us that would be normal. Would be logical to have this gap between MLS teams and an expansion Club.
“I believe we are working, we are learning, we are growing but being able to compete is the most important thing. To be competitive.”