By Sam Vanolinda
Photo courtesy of Cisco's Art
Charlotte FC heads up north to New England to face the Revolution in a key game this Saturday at Gilette Stadium.
With five games remaining for Charlotte, they are four points off a playoff spot but have two games in hand to 9th place New York City FC. They also have one game in hand to many teams surrounding them in the standings, 11th place N.Y Red Bulls, and 12th place Chicago Fire.
It is not an easy feat, but if Charlotte FC can catch fire in these last five games and win three or four of them, they could easily slip into a playoff spot and possibly carry that momentum into a couple of playoff wins to turn this season from a disappointment to a surprising success.
Despite being in some controversy with long-time head coach Bruce Arena stepping down on September 9th due to “insensitive and inappropriate remarks,” New England Revolution still sits firmly in a playoff spot, in 6th place with 49 points.
Spaniard Carles Gil has solidified himself as a New England legend and will be a player for Charlotte to prioritize in this upcoming match. Since joining the team in 2019, he has tallied 30 goals and 41 assists. He won MLS MVP in 2021 and is statistically one of the best players in the league since he arrived.
Carles Gil stats (fbref.com)
It is all in the green when it comes to offensive actions for a midfielder, especially when creating for his teammates. He’s the type of player that you want to have on your team, with 7.01 shot-creating actions every 90 minutes.
Any striker would salivate having Gil passing for them, just like Manchester City forwards benefit from the quality of Kevin De Bruyne. Midfielders Ashley Westwood and Brandt Bronico will want to close him down when he’s in possession of the ball and try to force his great passing ability to mostly be used for backward passes.
The Revolution clinched a playoff spot with their draw versus Chicago on September 23rd, so they may not be putting their foot on the gas as much as they would if they were still fighting for that relief of clinching postseason play.
That being said, they will still want to potentially move up to a higher seed and end the season on a high note, so Charlotte will need to be sharp to secure three points in a tough environment in Foxborough.