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Charlotte FC Stock Up, Stock Down: A rotten time in the Big Apple

By Sam Vanolinda


Photo Courtesy of CJ Hellner


Saturday night versus NYCFC was the gut-punch type of loss that occurred so many times last year.


Even for a fan base that's used to heartbreak, it still stings to watch a team celebrate a late winner at your expense.


It was again a lack of energy on the road that cost the Crown; after gaining an early lead through Kerwin Vargas the team allowed an equalizer before the half and the defense was caught sleeping for the late winner by Alonso Martínez.


Here’s the stock up and stock down for Saturday's game in Yankee Stadium:.


Stock Up


Kristijan Kahlina


Despite allowing two goals, Kahlina made some good saves to keep the team in the game. The two goals New York did score were close-range unsaveable shots.


Kahlina had five saves, with three of them being diving, including a long-range effort he just barely tipped over in the first half.


Kahlina has been pretty solid all year. Nothing spectacular, but he is a traditional shot-stopping keeper.


If he could improve his ball skills and distribution he could be one of the best in the MLS.


Photo Courtesy of CJ Hellner


Kerwin Vargas


With a new contract extension on the horizon, Vargas found himself on the scoresheet again.


He had a good first half but was somewhat of a ghost in the second, however, you can blame a lot of that on the club not having a competent number 10 who can distribute to the wings better.


His new contract and goal will boost his confidence. Look out for a hot streak of goals and assists in the next couple of games for the Columbian.


Stock Down


Adilson Malanda


I praised Malanda heavily in the “Away End,” a weekly article that NYCFC does on their website, getting a perspective from a media member who covers the opposing team.


I said his health would be a big factor in this game as he is our best player so far this year.


Unfortunately, Malanda had a disappointing game, not playing to his usual high standard. He and the whole defense allowed the dynamic playmaker Santiago Rodriguez to deliver a man-of-the-match performance with an assist and four chances created. 


Malanda was just 71% on passing and wasn't his usual self, falling asleep during the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute. 


He may have still not been 100% after the injury, and I expect him to be back to normal next match.


Liel Abada


Abada hasn’t been as game-changing as expected so far. Despite scoring one goal since his arrival, he hasn’t been able to make that much of an impact from the right-wing position.


He has quality but needs more service in attacking positions to show his skills as a finisher. Again, it comes back to having a player in the middle of the field at the 10 position who can distribute the ball better.


Besides Świderski, Ben Bender is the player who has been most effective at attacking mid in this club's history. He could be the solution that allows the front three to be more consistent when he returns.


For Abada, his dribbling ability needs to improve to excel in one-on-one situations against the wing-backs he is facing. 


Summary


Enzo Copetti could be a member of the stock-down list once again, until he scores a goal there is no point talking about him every week in these articles.


He needs to see that net ripple; once that happens I think he will begin to score consistently.


Hopefully, the team shows some signs of change from last year as they progress forward towards Portland at the Bank, on May 4th. 





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