Six Finals Remain: Ingredients of the Match
Charlotte FC is heading north for another showdown between the Queen Cities as they prepare to take on the current top-ranked team in MLS, F.C. Cincinnati, in what promises to be a demanding away fixture.
Here are the three ingredients of the match:
Six Finals Remain
While it might sound cliché, dwelling on the heart-wrenching draw against the Philadelphia Union should be the last thing occupying the minds of our players. Following that match, center back Adilson Malanda expressed his frustration but swiftly shifted his focus towards the upcoming fixtures.
"We still have six finals to go to get us into the playoffs," emphasized the Frenchman.
Charlotte remains firmly in the playoff race. Despite the impact of draws on their standings, they have retained control over their destiny. Just as in any championship match, treating every game as a do-or-die encounter is essential, which includes safeguarding leads in the closing moments. Charlotte has demonstrated their ability to earn leads, but their capacity to protect leads in the late stages now separates wins from draws.
"We need to overcome this mental block in the final five minutes when we are ahead in games," asserted Captain Ashley Westwood.
In their previous encounter with FC Cincinnati, Charlotte secured a 2-0 lead but ended up conceding two goals, settling for yet another draw. The frontrunner for the MVP title, Lucho Acosta, orchestrated a remarkable comeback with a goal and the game-winning assist.
He is one of those rare players who can single-handedly turn the tide in favor of his team. Acosta, a pure playmaker wearing the number 10 jersey, orchestrates every aspect of his team's game. His ability to conjure brilliance out of thin air demands that opposing teams remain razor-sharp. For Charlotte FC, maintaining an unwavering mental focus on defense will be imperative to neutralize a player of Acosta's caliber.
Maintain High Spirits
Charlotte's next challenge is against the current top-ranked team in MLS, in one of the league's most formidable venues for visiting teams. However, if there is one positive takeaway from Charlotte's recent games following the MLS reset, it is their demonstrated capability to compete against any team in the league.
"The positives are we are playing really well, we are creating chances, so we'll go to Cincinnati in good form and will look to get good result," stated Westwood regarding what the team can draw from the Union match.
Charlotte recently faced another notoriously challenging venue in Nashville, where they not only secured a point but also maintained control of the match throughout. The team must keep their spirits high against FC Cincinnati and believe in their ability to secure a victory against the Eastern Conference's top-seeded team, because they've shown to possess the potential to do so.
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Major League Soccer Stories from September 21, 2023
- LA Galaxy Forward Billy Sharp Voted MLS Player of the Matchday Presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 33 - LA Galaxy
- LA Galaxy Forward Billy Sharp Voted MLS Player of the Matchday Presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 33 - MLS
- Six Finals Remain: Ingredients of the Match - Charlotte FC
- NSC Announces Head Coaches for Inaugural Pup Cup Presented by Mars Petcare and PEDIGREE(R) Brand - Nashville SC
- Ben Olsen and Two Dynamo Players Named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Matchday - Houston Dynamo FC
- Álvaro Barreal Named to MLS Team of the Matchday for Matchday 33 - FC Cincinnati
- Taylor and Farías Named to MLS Team of the Matchday - Inter Miami CF
- Jesús Ferriera Named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Matchday Following Road Win at Real Salt Lake - FC Dallas
- Five Points: Equipazo¡ - New York City FC
- New England Revolution Academy Highlights: September 21, 2023 - New England Revolution
- Moments of Matchday 33 - MLS
- Cole Bassett Scores in Second Consecutive Game, Rapids Fall to Sounders 2-1 - Colorado Rapids
- Earthquakes Edged by Timbers, 2-1 - San Jose Earthquakes
- Timbers Down San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at Providence Park - Portland Timbers
- Minnesota United Drop Points Away to LA Galaxy - Minnesota United FC
- Sounders FC Earns Three Road Points with 2-1 Win at Colorado - Seattle Sounders FC
- FC Dallas Rallies to Defeat Real Salt Lake 3-1 - FC Dallas
- Real Salt Lake Drops 3-1 Decision to FC Dallas - Real Salt Lake
- St. Louis CITY SC Draws 0-0 with LAFC at CITYPARK - St. Louis City SC
- Houston Dynamo FC Continue Unbeaten Streak with 4-1 Victory Over Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Houston Dynamo FC
- LA Galaxy Earn 4-3 Come-From-Behind Win Over Minnesota United FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday Night - LA Galaxy
- Nashville SC Secures Important 3-0 Victory at Sporting KC in First of Two Road Matches - Nashville SC
- LAFC Earn Point on the Road with 0-0 Tie in St. Louis - Los Angeles FC
- Sporting KC Falls to Nashville SC - Sporting Kansas City
- Inter Miami CF Claims 4-0 Home Win Over Toronto FC - Inter Miami CF
- FC Cincinnati Take 1-1 Draw at CF Montréal with Acosta's Stoppage-Time Penalty - FC Cincinnati
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