Charlotte FC confidence rises after promising matchup against Columbus Crew
In the second competitive match of three pre-season games in Charleston, South Carolina, Major League Soccer's newest team, Charlotte FC drew nil-nil with the Columbus Crew, one of the ten founding members of the league. In last Saturday's opener of the Breeze Airways Carolina Challenge Cup, Charlotte lost 1-nil to hosts Charleston Battery.
Charlotte held the 2020 MLS champions, who started USA National Team striker Gyasi Zardes [gee-yas-ee zard-ess] up front, scoreless but didn't generate any real pressure on the Crew net either, save for a shot saved off the line late in the match.
The first half was ragged for the new team as they have only had a few weeks together as they work to understand and employ the high-pressure tactics favored by coach Miguel Angel Ramirez [Mi-gel An-hel Ram-ear-ez]. "I'm really happy with the spirit of fighting until the end. We had the last chances of the game," said Ramirez.
"That means we are on our way, getting closer to the team we want to be."
Most of the game's drama came after a foul by Charlotte's Yordy Reyna [Your-dee Ray-na] on the Crew's Luis Diaz, not far from the team benches. Push came to shove and both teams, including the benches, came to the rescue of their teammates.
Charlotte will face MLS rival Inter Miami FC in their final pre-season test on Saturday. They open their first MLS campaign on February 27 at DC United and will play their inaugural home game against the LA Galaxy on March 5th at Bank of America Stadium.