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What FC Dallas expect in their first meeting with Charlotte FC
Nico Estevez expects a tough game in the midfield against Charlotte.
FC Dallas will play host to some firsts on Friday night. Their first meeting ever with last year’s expansion club, Charlotte FC and their first match in the Leagues Cup.
While Charlotte FC isn’t an expansion team anymore, FC Dallas does have an impressive home record against teams that they’re playing against for the first time. FC Dallas is 17-2-3 all-time in the first home meetings, which includes a win earlier this year against expansion darlings St. Louis CITY SC.
Going into Friday’s match, FC Dallas head coach Nico Estevez is familiar with what Charlotte likes to do on the field thanks to some familiar faces like Justin Meram and Harrison Afful.
“I think they have a very clear idea of how they want to play,” said Estevez. “They want to attack; they want to create good scoring opportunities. They have quality players in all their positions, and I think he's going to be a really good game.”
One area they expect more from Charlotte will be in the midfield. With players like former number one overall SuperDraft pick Ben Bender, Brandt Bronico, and Derrick Jones helping facilitate quality attackers like Polish Designated Players Kamil Jozwiak and Karol Swiderski, Estevez mentions that slowing down the midfield will go a long way in controlling this game.
“They have really good quality in their midfield,” said Estevez. “And they have different profiles of players that can do different things, and then for us is going to be really important how we're going to press them. How we're going to defend them because if we can limit their chances to create attacks, we'll be in a better position to get a good result.”
Estevez is hoping having Jesus Ferreira back on the team will help boost the attack that has struggled to find the back of the net without him during his time away with the United States national team in the Gold Cup. Ferreira played about 40 minutes in Wednesday’s All-Star Game in Washington, D.C., before flying home overnight to Dallas.
“I think he was good because this kind of training for him,” Estevez said of Ferreira’s All-Star Game experience. “He also took it seriously. You could see him making good runs, putting a lot of effort in and pressing, and I think some of the things that we talked the during the week.”
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