Charlotte FC's incredible comeback win over the Chicago Fire was a watershed moment when performances finally translated into results, but for Nuno Santos, it meant even more than that.
Making just his second appearance for the club since joining from Benfica last month, it was Santos who fired home CLTFC's equalizer as they scored three late goals to overturn a 2-0 deficit at Solider Field.
At just 23 years and with extensive caps for Portugal across various youth levels, Santos has the potential to become a genuine star in Major League Soccer. However, for now, it's all about adjusting to playing outside his home country for the first time in his career.
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“I think day after day I’m getting more inside of the ideas of the club and of the coach," Santos told reporters. "It’s my first time abroad, outside of Portugal and I’m improving day after day. I know the coach and all the staff trusts me so I have to train day after day and then more time in the games will come. I think I’m doing pretty good getting inside the group and the ideas of the coach.”
Santos may be new to Charlotte FC but, then, this is a new club full of players still adjusting to each other's methods.
Even in his short time at Bank of America Stadium, Santos has been impressed with CLTFC's togetherness and credited that team spirit for their comeback against Chicago.
“I think we are improving as a team," he said. "We could see the last games that we did that we have been growing game after game. We kept believing in ourselves during the game, I think we were down in the results but we still kept believing and we went out there a fought for the results until the last whistle. We believed in the plan of the coach, who likes to play as well, and in the end it gave us the result and the win.”
Charlotte are 10th in the Eastern Conference, four points below the MLS Cup Playoffs line with three regular-season games to go.
Up next is a home clash against Eastern leaders Philadelphia Union.