Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Charlotte FC🔎
FC Dallas takes on Charlotte for the first time ever.
We’ve been talking about it for what feels like ages now, but the Leagues Cup is finally here. FC Dallas hosts Charlotte FC for their first-ever meeting with the club from North Carolina to kick off the Group Stage.
Charlotte is coming off a 2-0 loss last weekend in league play to CF Montreal. Christian Lattanzio’s club is currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points on a 6-9-8 record.
Let’s dive into how FC Dallas can pick up points on the road this weekend against Charlotte.
Key Player: Karol Swiderski
Swiderski leads Charlotte this season with seven goals, one of which came from the penalty spot. Expect the Polish international to be the main focal point in their attack.
Key Matchup: Swiderski vs Nkosi Tafari
This could be a big test for Tafari as Swiderski does well at getting the ball in space in the penalty box. The majority of his goals come from the left side of the penalty box too. So keeping him from being able to create space in the penalty box will be a tall order but one that Tafari should manage well.
Recent struggles - Like FC Dallas, Charlotte has had some serious struggles in the last couple of months. They’ve won one game in their last ten. Before the loss to Montreal last weekend, they had a stretch of five straight draws against teams like FC Cincinnati and New York City FC.
Familiar face on the bench - Former North Texas SC head coach Pa-Modou Kah joined as an assistant coach at the beginning of the 2023 season.
Out: Adilson Malanda (lower leg injury), Pablo Sisniega (back injury), Enzo Copetti (lower leg injury), Derrick Jones (thigh injury)
International duty: none
Lattanzio typically deploys a 4-3-3 formation with fullbacks that like to get into the attack.
Kahlina; Tuiloma, Curio, Sobociniski, Bvrne; Westwood, Bronico, Artfield; Joziawk, Swiderski, Varges
Keys To Three Points over Charlotte
Take advantage of the heat - We know how hot it has been here in North Texas over the last three weeks or so. While Charlotte has their own summer heat, it isn’t quite like what they’ll experience here in Frisco on Friday night. It’s hot. It’s a bit humid. It’s downright nasty, honestly. FC Dallas should be adapted to this kind of heat and use it to their advantage to make Charlotte chase the game a bit. The quicker you can wear a team out in this kind of heat, the better chance you have to catch them on the break.
Get Arriola and Velasco involved early - While we don’t know if Paul Arriola is actually fit enough to start on Friday, seeing that he made the bench last weekend against Seattle gives me reason to believe he should be starting in this one. He needs to find action early in this one, to get his confidence back up, and the same goes for Alan Velasco. This is the kind of tournament that could really boost their regular season play and get them back to the level we saw each of them at in 2022.
Be smart in defense - Charlotte is likely going to have to go for it in this one since they are on the road. They have talent up top that can cause issues and force you to make mistakes. The Dallas defense has been prone to poor giveaways at times, even at home this season. As good as Maarten Paes has been in goal this season for the club, we really don’t want to see him have to carry this team for the entire tournament. Keep the pressure off him; let him make big saves only when it is necessary.