Dig Deep: Ingredients of the Match
Just four days after a trip to Los Angeles, Charlotte FC have the task of facing a surging Philadelphia Union side away from home.
Here are the three ingredients of the match against the Union:
Charlotte's match against the Philadelphia Union will be their eighth of the month, an absurd amount within the timeframe. Just within the past seven days the Crown will have traveled from Birmingham to Los Angeles followed by another cross-country flight to Philadelphia.
They finish the exhausting month in one of the most difficult venues to play in, Subaru Park, against a Union side that is trending upwards after a below par first third of the season. There's no way to sugarcoat it - this might be Charlotte's toughest challenge of the season.
Fatigue from travel and just the sheer volume of matches played with minimal breaks in between combined with facing a high intensity team like the Union will test the team like nothing else. Christian Lattanzio praised his team's resilience in Los Angeles, and they'll have to dig even deeper to get a result in Philly.
Don't Be Wasteful
As the season has progressed, Charlotte has gotten better at generating higher quality scoring opportunities like they did against the L.A. Galaxy. However, they made it hard on themselves by being wasteful with those opportunities.
Instead of going into the half with a goal or two under their belt, they found themselves searching for that opening goal which did eventually come but could have sealed the game much earlier. Chances are that Charlotte won't get as many scoring opportunities against Philadelphia as they did against the Galaxy because the Union have been a more defensively sound team.
When these opportunities come, it's vital to not be wasteful and capitalize on them because if you don't, the home side will.
Julian Carranza is a problem.
Ever since his arrival in Philadelphia, the young Argentine has blossomed into one of the leading forwards in not just his team but in the entire league. He's the joint leading scorer for the Union this season with seven goals with two of them coming in their last match against New York City FC.
The Union have a number of goal scoring threats in Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre, but Carranza is the one that is the most in form. He's tough to game plan against because he has such a versatile skillset. He's a striker that can hurt you off the dribble, with his movement, and even through his persistent pressing.
He's not afraid of doing the dirty work on the defensive side that often leads to goals for himself or his team. Knowing where he is at all times and not giving him opportunities to hurt you takes a major threat on the opposing side off the board.
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