Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC sets sight on MLS playoffs after second consecutive victory

Lizzy Becherano
Charlotte beat Cincinnati on Saturday
Charlotte beat Cincinnati on Saturday / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Major League Soccer expansion team Charlotte FC triumphed 2-0 over FC Cincinnati at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday afternoon to manage a two-game winning streak. 

Designated Player Karol Swiderski led his side to victory with two goals, opening up the scoring in the sixth minute off of a pass by SuperDraft pick Ben Bender before doubling the tally with a shot past Alec Kann into the top corner. 

Charlotte FC currently stands in eight place on the Eastern Conference table with five points in five games and a record of 2-0-3. Now, the team has their sights set on qualifying to the MLS playoffs.  

“I think we knew in those situations offensively how to handle it intelligently, in the form of creating a counterattack, recuperate the ball, and when they got the ball, they would stop and look for more people," head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez said. 

"You would see a 3 vs. 5, 3 vs. 4, 3 vs. 6, which shows how logically the offense handled these situations, had control, and figured out if they needed more people to complete the play. I always say the team knows when to suffer and know when to defend. Knowing how to protect is an art, and I have improved as a coach and am improving.

"This experience has helped me improve as a coach, and I think working with my staff has helped me. This is a long journey, and I know this is helping me professionally. I still have a lot to learn, and I know I am improving and that the players are helping me improve. I love working with this team and receiving this feedback and how they feel. I believe this all makes us defend better."

The club also earned their first ever clean sheet thanks to Kristijan Kahlina, the Croatian goalkeeper signed with the team in December 2021 ahead of their inaugural season after playing for Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria.

"It was amazing because the first time I was MVP or Man of the Match, we lose to LA Galaxy," Kahlina said. 

"But now when you win the game, a tough game like this, and it was a really important game. This game back us in the right way where we want to be, and yeah, we are inside a game for the playoff, and we just need to keep this road."

While the team still has a long way to go before qualifying to the postseason, maintaining the winning streak will propel Charlotte FC to their ultimate goal. The expansion side returns to the pitch on April 2nd when visiting the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park. 

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