MLS | CF Montreal will face a tough rival in Charlotte

(Montreal) The scenario seems written in advance: CF Montreal, which forms one of the teams of the hour in MLS, will try to extend its success streak by visiting an expansion club. Easy duel for the Montreal squad? Nothing less certain, because this expansion club is proving to be tough on its ground so far in 2022.

Posted at 9:40 a.m.

Michael Lamarche
The Canadian Press

CF Montreal (5-3-2) will have the chance to play their eighth straight game unbeaten when they visit Charlotte FC (4-6-1) on Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium.

At the same time, he will be looking to put a stop to Charlotte FC’s four-game winning streak in front of their fans.

Since a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy in their home opener on March 5, Charlotte FC have outscored their home-court rivals by a combined score of 7-1, including their last three shutout wins. .

In fact, Charlotte FC haven’t given their opponents a goal at home since the 54and minute of the March 19 game against the New England Revolution. And it was on a penalty shot from Carles Gil.

Since then, the North Carolina team has closed the door to its rivals on its field for 306 minutes. Also, they have trailed only 14 minutes since the start of the season at home.

“It’s a good team. Once again, the players know it,” said head coach Wilfried Nancy, Thursday noon, after his troop’s training session at Center Nutrilait.

« We’re going to play on turf, we’re going to play on the road — it’s been a long time since we’ve been away. In MLS, there are no easy matches. It’s a team that is interesting to see in its ideas at the level of the game, in the nuances of the game. There is reflection, “said the head coach of CF Montreal.

Above all, CF Montreal will face a team that seems to be very happy on the ground that normally serves as the home of the Carolina Panthers in the National Football League.

During an NFL game, the stadium can accommodate approximately 75,000 spectators. For Charlotte FC fixtures, the stadium layout is, in principle, limited to the lower tier stands, which is approximately 38,000 seats.

For the home opener in MLS, however, the team leaders had opened all the seats, and more than 74,000 spectators gathered in the stands. Over the next four games, the team averaged about 31,000 fans.

In the eyes of Charlotte FC players and head coach Miguel Ramirez, the Bank of America Stadium is already on its way to becoming a stronghold for the home team.

After his squad’s 1-0 win over Inter Miami CF last Saturday, Ramirez spoke about how confident he and his players were to go for a positive result because they all feel like he are more than the 11 local color bearers on the pitch.

“The commitment and involvement of the fans at this club is fantastic. I want them to know how much we appreciate this atmosphere. And every head coach that comes to see me tells me how amazing what’s going on here (in Charlotte) is just amazing. That the atmosphere in this stadium is incredible. »

In this environment which promises to be hostile, Wilfried Nancy must find midfielders Victor Wanyama and Ismaël Koné, who both missed last Saturday’s meeting against Orlando City SC due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

However, Canadian defender Joel Waterman will be absent for the same reason.

It will be the first of two consecutive games in four days away for CF Montreal, which will be in Nashville on Wednesday, May 18.

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