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 Charlotte FC

Dean Smith Previews New England Revolution Match

April 5, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Charlotte FC News Release

Charlotte FC is gearing up to face the New England Revolution following a tough battle against the Eastern Conference leaders, FC Cincinnati. Despite falling short of victory in their last outing, Head Coach Dean Smith is confident his squad is primed for success.

"I think first and foremost they felt disappointed as a group because they felt they deserved the three points...," said Smith. "But I think they took the words on board and came in on Monday refreshed."

New designated player Liel Abada made his Club debut against Cincinnati just a couple of days after arriving in the country. He's only been with his new team for a week but has quickly adjusted and integrated himself into the Club.

"I think because of the dressing room and players that we've got, I think it's a lot easier to come in and mix straight away," said Smith regarding the camaraderie within the squad. "They're really good people the players that we've got and I think they help the integration procedure. He looks like he's been here more than a few days already."

Abada is just one of the fresh or returning faces gracing the training ground. With the influx of new signings and the return of players like Brandt Bronico from injury, Charlotte's roster boasts more depth than ever. Smith underscores the significance of having a deep squad, as it presents him with challenging decisions regarding the matchday roster and starting eleven.

However, as Bronico likes to say, "competition breeds excellence," highlighting the positive impact of healthy competition within the team.

"That's the beauty of it and that's what I want," said Smith. "I want to be thinking about things. I think for the first 3-4 games the team picked itself, the bench picked itself, and now we can actually change things."

The New England Revolution have struggled this season having yet to clinch their first victory this season. Additionally, they will be contending with fatigue as they come off a midweek Champions Cup fixture. Despite facing a New England Revolution side that's been grappling with form, Smith cautions against complacency and emphasizes the necessity for his team to maintain their focus.

"We have to be very careful that we don't take anything for granted and we won't. Respect them but no fear. We'll go there and try to implement our game style unto them."

For Smith, it all boils down to mentality when it comes to securing The Crown's first road victory this season. If that isn't motivation enough this weekend, the bulletin board quote from New England's Head Coach Caleb Porter might just provide the extra push needed. Porter said some bold words in the build up to this match, that Charlotte will look to prove wrong.

"We are going to get a win Saturday, I promise that," said Porter.

Dean Smith's response?

"He shouldn't make promises that he might not be able to keep."

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