CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC’s last two matches against New York City FC and the Chicago Fire epitomized the team’s character and resilience. Something that midfielder Brandt Bronico said the team showed glimpses of but not quite enough to get the results they wanted until recently.
“I think it's something internal, that we've kind of been waiting to pull out of ourselves this year, to show that character and hold on in situations of adversity like that. To show the character to go down a man with 30 minutes left in the game and still win the game. And also, to come back from being down and to win the game three to two, I think that speaks a lot about what this team is ultimately capable of when, when we really do believe in ourselves and each other."
When asked where that belief stems from, whether it’s within each of the players or instilled by interim head coach Christian Lattanzio, Bronico believes both play a part.
“I think it's a little bit of both. Something that Lattanzio has put into us with his tactics and his system over the course of the past couple of months and ultimately us spending more time together and throughout the season. Just becoming more of a team as the year went on to get those past two wins.”
The team is going to need to rely on that self-belief for their next challenge ahead against Eastern Conference leaders, Philadelphia Union. They are widely considered one of if not the best teams in MLS right now and are looking to win their second Supporter’s Shield in the past four seasons.
“They find ways not to lose games. They're, they're intense, with their defensive pressure and ultimately, they finish their chances and create a lot of chances in the final third. So, we'll be looking to limit that and impose our own intensity on them.”
This week has been dedicated to the Charlotte FC fans who have made their passion and loyalty shown in not just the Carolinas but throughout the world. They set the new MLS single-game attendance record and followed it up with the 2nd best average attendance in the league. Getting a win for Bronico is what he believes is the least the players and coaching staff can do for the undying support of their fans.
"It's a Fan Appreciation Night and the fans have done so much for us and have been so incredible and amazing all year long. So, I feel like it'd be appropriate to get a win for them this weekend as they've supported us so much this season."