As weather heats up so have the matches for Charlotte FC. Next up is maybe the hottest of them as the Crown faces against Southern rival Atlanta United. Atlanta comes into the match unbeaten but Charlotte are on the prowl for their first win of the season and who better for it to come against than
Here are the three ingredients of the match against the Five Stripes:
Every Ball is Important
Following the loss against the New England Revolution, head coach Christian Lattanzio stressed mental fortitude was a lesson they could learn from that match.
“Every ball is important, every moment is important, concentration at this level is vital because you make a little lapse and all of a sudden you’re chasing,” said Lattanzio.
In the loss against St. Louis, we saw such lapses in focus in both the attacking and defending areas. On offense these lapses revealed themselves in the form of wayward passes or a poor touch. On defense, it was gifting goals that made it too easy for St. Louis.
At this level, missed scoring opportunities and mistakes are punished.
Isolate Thiago Almada
Aside from results, Charlotte and Atlanta share quite a few similarities through the first two matches of the season. One of them being struggling to create scoring opportunities. In fact, Charlotte has generated a higher amount of Expected Goals (xG) which is a metric that measures quality of goal scoring chances and the likelihood of them being scored.
Atlanta’s lethargic attack has been somewhat offset by the individual brilliance of their attacking midfielder, Thiago Almada, who has directly contributed to all three goals they’ve scored thus far. Preventing him from picking up or carrying the ball in and around the penalty area will deny Atlanta their most dangerous scoring threat.
Tap Into Anger
“Anger” was the word that Lattanzio used to describe how the team felt in the locker room following the result against St. Louis City. Anger that derived from the team believing they are capable of so much more. The Italian praised his players’ sentiment because he saw it as a sign of the hunger and belief of the group.
We’ve seen anger from the team that has manifested itself into visible frustration which hurt the team more than it helped. However, if the team can funnel that anger into digging deeper within themselves to get the best out of the team then it can be a valuable tool. Leverage tapping into the anger, the crowd’s energy, and the extra weight a rivalry match carries to earn a statement win and get the season back on track.
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