Leagues Cup

More Than Messi | Ingredients of the Match


Charlotte FC's Leagues Cup journey takes them to Florida where they'll face an in-form Inter Miami side with none other than Lionel Messi at the helm for a spot in the semifinals.

Here are the three ingredients of the match:

Seize the Moment

Throughout the tournament, Charlotte FC has encountered opponents with varying defensive strategies, but a new challenge looms on the horizon as they face Miami, a team that mirrors their high-pressing approach. Charlotte's previous matches have seen them take the initiative, applying pressure and forcing errors from their rivals. However, against Miami, they will find themselves in a unique situation where transition opportunities arise – chances they must capitalize on swiftly.

While breaking down well-structured and compact defenses demands methodical and patient play, facing a less organized side that employs a high press demands a different approach: speed. Here, it's not just physical velocity that matters, but also rapid decision-making to launch attacks and catch Miami off-guard. The key lies in seizing the fleeting moments when scoring opportunities emerge and making the most of them before they vanish.

Miami's Number 10

Lionel Messi, a name that needs no introduction. Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes to grace the sport, this Argentine icon has brought his talents to Major League Soccer and is now a part of Miami's lineup. While the prospect of stopping Messi may seem daunting, limiting his influence is a feasible strategy. One effective method is to obstruct passing lanes and reduce his touches, thus compelling other players to step up and make an impact. Maintaining constant awareness of Messi's positioning is crucial, given his propensity to drift across the pitch.

When Messi does gain possession, swarming him with multiple players becomes paramount. However, caution must be exercised, especially around the box, to prevent dangerous free-kick opportunities – a skill Messi has already demonstrated in the tournament.

Beyond the Star

While Messi undeniably shapes the course of any match he participates in, it's vital to approach the upcoming encounter with Miami as a clash between teams, not individuals. Head Coach Christian Lattanzio grasps this perspective and emphasizes the importance of his players adopting this mindset.

"We will have a difficult game because we play against a team who is in form, who has Messi, but we don't play Messi, we play against Inter Miami," stressed Lattanzio when looking ahead to this match.

Miami has undergone a transformation, evident in their fresh look and approach. The acquisition of an experienced, MLS Cup-winning head coach, Tata Martino, has infused new vigor into the team. Original Miami players like Robert Taylor have flourished under this new structure, while notable additions such as Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Kamal Miller have bolstered the team's core. The essence of the strategy is clear – triumphing in matches, let alone tournaments, hinges on the collective efforts of every player on the roster.

As Charlotte FC prepares to navigate the challenges posed by Miami's high press and Messi's brilliance, their ability to swiftly capitalize on transition opportunities, contain key threats, and adopt a holistic team approach will determine their success on the pitch.

Related Articles



Leagues Cup Quarterfinals vs. Inter Miami

August 11th @ 8:00PM | Kickoff at 8:30PM @ Slate Charlotte