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Charlotte FC's Thrilling Back-To-Back Home Matches

June 21, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Charlotte FC News Release


Charlotte FC's recent back-to-back home fixtures offered fans a rollercoaster of emotions, showcasing the team's determination and the electric atmosphere at Bank of America Stadium. The first encounter, a 1-0 victory over DC United, contrasted sharply with a dramatic 2-2 draw against Orlando City, highlighting both the team's defensive resilience and offensive potential, despite facing adversity.

A Hard-Fought Win Against DC United

Charlotte FC's clash with DC United on June 19 started as an evenly contested battle but from the 30th minute on it was all The Crown. The match was characterized by a disciplined defensive led by center-backs Adilson Malanda and Andrew Privett effectively nullified DC United's offensive threats, including their prolific striker, Christian Benteke. Also

The defining moment came in extra time of the first half when Jere Uronen whipped in a speeding corner kick that was met by Kerwin Vargas who leaped for the header. That marked Vargas's 3rd goal of the campaign.

"It was good to see him get the header, I think he's very underrated especially in and around the penalty box," Head Coach Dean Smith.

DC United pressed for an equalizer, but Charlotte's goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina, made a series of crucial saves to preserve the lead making it back-to-back wins for the Crown. They wouldn't have much time to celebrate, as preparation for a midweek match against Orlando City commenced almost immediately.

The Dramatic 2-2 Draw Against Orlando City

On Wednesday night, Charlotte FC faced Orlando City in a match that will be remembered for its drama and resilience. The home side gained an early lead through Vargas again, with his fourth goal of the season coming from a poor clearance of Liel Abada's pass into the box. His fourth goal of the season propelled the young Colombian to the top of Charlotte FC's scoring chart.

However, the game's complexion changed drastically in the 38th minute when Charlotte's central midfielder, Scott Arfield, received a red card for reckless tackle.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Charlotte FC were not phased as they looked equal to Orlando. It would take 30 minutes against CTLFC's ten men for Orlando to finally find a breakthrough in the 63rd minute when Duncan McGuire equalized.

Charlotte FC demonstrated remarkable resilience and fighting spirit once again. In the 77th minute, Patrick Agyemang and Brandt Bronico capitalized on a 2v2 counterattack, with Bronico chipping the goalkeeper to put the undermanned side ahead. Although Orlando City equalized shortly thereafter, that goal, along with Charlotte's overall performance, epitomized their never-say-die attitude, showcasing their ability to persevere even in the face of significant adversity.

"It was absolutely outstanding the work rate the lads put in," said Westwood. To be down to 10 men with 60 minutes [left] is incredible and it just shows what we're building here. We have a never-say-die attitude, and the lads will work for each other.

What's Next?

These two matches highlighted Charlotte FC's tactical adaptability and robust team spirit. Against DC United, the team displayed a disciplined and structured approach, keeping their defensive shape intact and seizing their moment to secure victory. Conversely, the game against Orlando City required a different kind of resilience-playing almost the entire match with ten men, yet managing to secure a point through sheer determination and a willingness to fight until the final whistle.

Charlotte FC have only lost once in their last nine matches leaving them in a strong position to push for a playoff spot as the season progresses. With the team's ability to both grind out narrow victories and fight back against adversity, Charlotte FC has shown they possess the qualities needed to stay where they are in the standings.

Up next, Charlotte faces a road stretch where they will be truly tested before MLS play pauses for the start of Leagues Cup.

"We shouldn't be scared or timid to play on the road," said Brandt Bronico. "We should go out there and do what we do here and take points from opposing teams."


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