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Charlotte FC Stock Up, Stock Down: Agyemang gets a brace, Uronen shows his two-way play

By Sam Vanolinda


Patrick Agyemang (Photo courtesy of Cisco's Art/TopBin90)


Dean Smith and Charlotte FC continue to defy all expectations as they fly into fourth place in the Eastern Conference after two solid results last week. Starting with a 2-2 draw at home versus Orlando and heading to the city of brotherly love for a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union. 


The Crown now has a 9-5-6 record and all the momentum they need to push for a good seed in the Playoffs. They also still have the option to add reinforcements in this summer window. If the front office makes the right plays the team could be a MLS Cup contender.


Here is the stock up and down for the last two games:


Stock Up


Patrick Agyemang


Agyemang has had a rough stretch recently,  but against Philadelphia, he showed the world how great a striker he can be. 


A brace with a thumping diving header and a silky smooth near-post finish after a couple of stepovers was more than enough for the team to win.


If he can consistently produce like he did Saturday night the team will continue to benefit.


Agyemang had six total shots and nine touches in the opponent's box, with 1.12 xG against the Union, a dominant game from the 2023 SuperDraft pick.


Agyemang has shot himself to the top of the goal-scoring list for the club, with five goals this year, he also has two assists. The key now is if he can keep this momentum and continue to score in future games.


Ben Bender


Bender was back in the starting lineup on Saturday. He wasn’t a standout but his inclusion back into the team takes his stock back up.


He had a solid game, with 83% passing, 26 touches, two in the opposing box, 2/2 successful dribbles, and two passes into the final third.


He looks to be a solid option in the 10 position that has switched hands so many times this year. As he gets back into MLS play he will have a larger impact.


Jere Uronen


Jere Uronen had a solid game in the 2-2 draw midweek with Orlando, and a great game with an assist on Saturday.


Over the two games last week he had 121 total touches, two successful dribbles, 16 passes into the final third, five tackles won, seven clearances, and three interceptions. A force on both sides of the ball on the left side of the field.


Charlotte has done great business bringing him and Byrne in as the wingback duo for this team. They are a big reason why this backline has been so solid this year.


Stock Down


Scott Arfield


Charlotte looked to be coasting towards a win before Arfield received a red card in Wednesday's game. Orlando is a struggling team that took the lifeline of a man advantage and managed to scrape a point out of the game. 


When your defense is so hot, there is no need to be reckless and give the other team an advantage, even when the red card call is debatable. 


As a veteran player, Arfield should not have been lunging in behind a player, especially with the way VAR operates in today's game.


Djibril Diani 


Diani did not have much of an impact on Wednesday's game. He was subbed off in the 82nd minute and then rotated out of the team on Saturday.


I think he looked pretty lively when he came in as a sub in the 72nd minute of Saturday’s game, but he isn’t the must-start center mid that he was earlier this year.


I still think he is a very good player, but obviously, Smith wants to rotate the midfield with the options that he has.


Hopefully, Diani can get another chance to prove his quality in the next game.


Summary


Spirits have never been higher for Charlotte FC. Sitting in 4th place at this point in the season would have satisfied any fan, especially with a new manager coming in.


Dean Smith has proven why he had such success in England with various teams throughout his long career, it is obvious the positive effect he’s had on the players. It was an incredible decision by the front office to bring in a coach of his caliber. 


The team proved again this week that they do not always have to rely on a clean sheet, with four goals in two games, like I have said in the past, if the offense and defense are both in good form, the Crown is a tough team to beat.


We look toward the next game, Saturday, June 29, in Houston against the Dynamo.


1 comentário


Paul Manley
Paul Manley
25 de jun.

Airfield was flat footed before the red. He just has not embraced Coach Dean. I was happy to see him benched on Saturday

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