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Miguel Ramírez: "Maybe It's the Game I Am Most Proud of this Season"

May 26, 2022 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Charlotte FC News Release

MONTCLAIR - After a scrappy, emotional match Charlotte FC falls short as their U.S. Open Cup journey comes to an end. Head coach Miguel Ramírez believes the final score didn't tell the whole story of how his team performed.

"Maybe it's the game I am most proud of this season. Because they understood the game plan, they executed really good. They understood how to play against Red Bull, defending and attacking.

"It's a very demanding team and our answer was so positive. It was so difficult, it was tight, a game on a very early goal. And the second goal from them came from our best moment. We were dominating the game, trying to have chances, but one mistake against these kinds of teams and this quality of striker... they punish you.

"I believe if someone didn't watch the game and just saw the game score they would say Red Bull was much much better than Charlotte FC but today was not my impression. Their bench was very, very frustrated because we were performing much better than them.

"But when you do that is in your control, we can't say anything to the guys, they compete really, really, really good. And maybe it was our best game away in terms of performance."

Despite the Crown having more of the ball, the Red Bulls were able to create more clear-cut chances for themselves. Most of them came from their signature high press and attacking in transition.

"Of course when they have the chance to counter attack, when they have the spaces they are very fast, they have legs, and they hurt you. But we were able to be super reliable and consistent during the minutes. In terms of physicality, Red Bull is legs but who played football today was Charlotte FC.

"When I say we were better, I talk about other phases of the game, but they were probably better in that [final third] phase of the game. But in games there are many phases and factors that aren't just the finalization."

The team was understandably disappointed with the result as they saw the U.S. Open Cup as a real opportunity to earn a trophy in their inaugural season. But at the end of the day, Ramírez is proud of his players' efforts not just in this match but throughout the entire tournament.

"With some of them, I tried to explain that what was in our hands we did well, nothing else to say. We need to be proud of ourselves, our work, our performance because we did what was planned... We need to be aware of the team we were today... we put our face there today and say we made the job and we will be proud of our job.

"First the help and commitment of the entire roster. The first two matches were played by players who don't get many minutes but competed really well to help the team progress and face one of the best teams in MLS. The first thing was the commitment and making the most of their opportunity.

"And today, the ability to compete. To compete is a good game for spectators, and I really enjoyed it. I saw my team compete to crazy levels. Leaving everything on the pitch and staying loyal to what we talked about with only having one day of preparation... Trying to do what we talked about, and executing it well.

"It shows me a really positive response of a lot of intelligence and commitment. Also, their ability to sacrifice, to suffer, and push themselves."

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