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Charlotte FC Stock Up, Stock Down: Uronen's consistency is top, Diani continues to impress

By Sam Vanolinda

Photo courtesy of CJ Hellner/TopBin90

It is a positive sign that in a match against arguably the best team in the league, a 1-1 draw was a massively disappointing result.

But with the way Charlotte FC has been playing at home, I was quietly confident that The Crown would pick up a point Saturday night; in the end, they should’ve had three.

Another late goal took away from a solid game for the team. Here are the players whose stock is rising and whose stock is down after the match versus FC Cincinnati:

Stock up

The Back Line

The goal was a tough one to concede after Copetti had the chance to close it out, and after there were several other chances missed throughout the game.

Too many players Committed forward for Charlotte, and a slick flick from Yedlin on the other end to set up a tap-in.

That being said, the defense has been incredible all season long. Away from the man-marking madness of last year, the team is solid at the back.

After conceding five goals in the 2-5 loss in the Play-In game last season, the team has only concealed five goals through six games this year, with two clean sheets. 

As Adilson Malanda and Andrew Privett grow and gain experience, the ceiling of this backline increases.

On top of that, Jere Uronen and Nathan Byrne were very good in the attack and defending Saturday night, a super positive sign for the games to come.

It’s obvious the impact that Smith has had on organizing the team. He has an emphasis on the ability for his defenders to win those 50-50 battles and keep out set pieces, which they have done well.

Jere Uronen

The star of the back line last night was Uronen, who has been an amazing addition at left-back after all the issues the team had at that position before his arrival.

Uronen had three chances created, three interceptions, and four recoveries. He even managed to pull off a double nutmeg in the first half, an example of his attacking prowess.

So far this season Uronen has been the most consistent player. He’s shown his ability to shoot from free kicks at a distance, his creative passing ability, and his ability to defend.

Djibril Diani

Diani’s stock is rising faster than Nvidia's in his early Charlotte career. Ideally, there won’t be double dipping with stock-ups week-by-week, but his performance can’t be ignored.

Diani stepped up and finished the penalty calmly, taking the pressure off young attackers who have been struggling in that area this year. 

He also had seven passes into the final third, three tackles won, four recoveries, and he won the penalty he scored.

Stock down

Enzo Copetti

Despite coming on as a sub, the DP had another chance to finish the game and prove his worth in stoppage time and instead lost the ball and set up a goal-scoring counterattack.

Copetti was in a position in which he could’ve shot or slotted the ball to a well-positioned Abada or Urso and instead lost control. 

It’s past being able to count on your hand how many opportunities Copetti has had to secure three points for the team, both this year and last, and over and over again he disappoints.

Copetti has 1.14 xG on five shots so far this year in his three appearances. With the quality of his chances being as high as they are (.23 xG on average), the longer he goes without scoring his starting role will become more intensely questioned.

At this point Agyemang has been the better finisher and provides great hold-up play and a set-piece threat; he could end up taking that starting role.

Copetti’s stock has to be down simply because it is even a conversation that a SuperDraft pick is competing for the starting role with a designated player. Designated players are not supposed to be competing for starting spots, yet in Charlotte, there appears to be a competition at the striker position.

Kerwin Vargas

Vargas has a knack for getting into good attacking positions, making good runs, and controlling the ball well.

The disappointing part is the final product. He has had an impressive amount of chances from the winger position this year, but finishing leaves a lot to be desired. 

His stretch of poor finishing was epitomized by his performance against Cincinnati where he had seven shots with none on target.

He ended last season on fire, but the penalty miss looks like it may have had an impact on his confidence. 

Moving him to the left and having Abada start on the right could improve his production.

Abada did not have enough time to truly show the fans what he can do Saturday, but once he adjusts it will take a lot of pressure off the other forwards on the team.

Final thoughts 

Charlotte can still be proud of their result Saturday night, but dropping points late always stings.

If they can keep up this home form, the team could easily find a playoff spot this year, but they still need to start performing on the road.

They head to Gillette stadium next weekend, in cold New England weather, it should provide a good test of what type of character this team has. If they can get a result in that tough frigid environment it will point towards away success.