• Tyler Trent

Does Charlotte FC Make The Playoffs? - Predicting The Rest of the Season

Updated: Aug 1

By Tyler Trent

Image courtesy of Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC’s play has picked up under the leadership of interim manager Christian Lattanzio, but will the black and blue still be able to make the playoffs? After Saturday’s heartbreaking loss against Inter Miami, Charlotte currently sits at 8th in the table with 26 points. Last year’s cutoff in points to make the playoffs with 7th place in the Eastern Conference was 48 points. With only 13 games remaining, Charlotte would need to average 1.69 points per game over the rest of the season. Throughout the season so far, they are averaging 1.24 points per game.


The full TopBin90 writing team of Jorge, Brian, and Tyler, along with special guests Lee (CLTFC Fan TV), Vaughn Pollman (Guesting on all your favorite Charlotte FC podcasts), Carroll Walton (Charlotte Ledger), Kyran (QC Soccer Report), and Matt Swift (Mint City Soccer Show) give their takes on the remaining games on the schedule, result prediction, final point tally, and the big question – do we make the playoffs?


The Remaining Games

7/23 - Toronto FC (Away)

Jorge: Draw

Brian: Win

Tyler: Win

Lee: Draw

Vaughn: Win

Kyran: Win

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

7/30 - Columbus Crew (Home)

Jorge: Win

Brian: Win

Tyler: Win

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Draw

Kyran: Win

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

8/3 - DC United (Home)

Jorge: Win

Brian: Win

Tyler: Win

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Win

Kyran: Win

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

8/6 - Chicago Fire (Home)

Jorge: Win

Brian: Win

Tyler: Win

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Win

Kyran: Win

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

8/13 - Los Angeles FC (Away)

Jorge: Loss

Brian: Loss

Tyler: Loss

Lee: Loss

Vaughn: Loss

Kyran: Loss

Swift: Loss

Carroll: Loss

8/17 - New York City FC (Away)

Jorge: Draw

Brian: Draw

Tyler: Loss

Lee: Loss

Vaughn: Loss

Kyran: Loss

Swift: Loss

Carroll: Loss

8/21 – Orlando City (Home)

Jorge: Win

Brian: Win

Tyler: Draw

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Draw

Kyran: Draw

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

8/27 – Toronto FC (Home)

Jorge: Win

Brian: Win

Tyler: Win

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Win

Kyran: Win

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

9/3 – FC Cincinnati (Away)

Jorge: Loss

Brian: Draw

Tyler: Loss

Lee: Draw

Vaughn: Draw

Kyran: Loss

Swift: Win

Carroll: Draw

9/10 – New York City FC (Home)

Jorge: Draw

Brian: Loss

Tyler: Draw

Lee: Draw

Vaughn: Loss

Kyran: Loss

Swift: Draw

Carroll: Draw

9/17 – Chicago Fire (Away)

Jorge: Win

Brian: Draw

Tyler: Win

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Win

Kyran: Win

Swift: Win

Carroll: Win

10/1 – Philadelphia Union (Home)

Jorge: Draw

Brian: Win

Tyler: Draw

Lee: Loss

Vaughn: Loss

Kyran: Loss

Swift: Loss

Carroll: Loss

10/9 – New York Red Bulls (Away)

Jorge: Draw

Brian: Loss

Tyler: Loss

Lee: Win

Vaughn: Loss

Kyran: Loss

Swift: Loss Carroll: Draw

Total Points:

Jorge: 49 points

Brian: 50 points

Tyler: 47 points

Lee: 45 points

Vaughn: 44 points

Kyran: 45 points

Swift: 51 points Carroll: 50 points


Image courtesy of Charlotte FC


Team End of Season Awards:

We thought it would be fun to look at three end of season awards as well to see if there was any consensus on the three main postseason awards for the club.

Jorge

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Yordy Reyna

Player of the Season: Guzman Corujo

Brian

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Yordy Reyna

Player of the Season: Karol Swiderski

Tyler

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Sergio Ruiz

Player of the Season: Guzman Corujo

Lee

Leading Goal Scorer: Andre Shinyashiki

Assist Leader: Ben Bender

Player of the Season: Guzman Corujo

Vaughn

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Ben Bender

Player of the Season: Guzman Corujo

Kyran

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Ben Bender

Player of the Season: Kristijan Kahlina

Matt

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Ben Bender

Player of the Season: Brandt Bronico

Carroll

Leading Goal Scorer: Karol Swiderski

Assist Leader: Ben Bender

Player of the Season: Guzman Corujo






The Bottom Line

Jorge (@Bellatorisjorge)

Charlotte will be in and around playoff spots the rest of the season. The reality is that the squad build isn't as bad as Miguel portrayed it to be, but it also isn't as good as as a top contending team. Charlotte’s reality is 7th-10th and with a few good away performances and maintaining a good home form, I can definitely see Charlotte finishing 7th in the East. Charlotte have to capitalize on the recent form Yordy Reyna has displayed, the goals from Andre Shinyashiki, and hopefully a revitalized Karol Swiderski to continue to make their push. The away points are far and few now but I think the resilience this team has shown all season will get them the necessary results.

Brian (@BAMaurerMedia) Thinking they can get themselves on a heater to end July and to start August. Predicting they grab their longest win streak of the season (4 games in a row) starting this weekend in Toronto. Also predicting Charlotte FC get a couple signings at the end of the transfer window to help provide some depth needed to get some extra points during the tough stretch of games at the end of the season. Overall, my bold prediction is that Karol Swiderski comes into strong finishing form, resoundingly becoming the team’s leading goal scorer, and player of the year. With Swiderski leading the way with his goal scoring the team sneaks into 6th place in the conference and a playoff spot on the road against CF Montreal with a chance to get some revenge.

Tyler (@ttrent4) With 47 points, it will be hard to tell if Charlotte FC will make the playoffs. The magic number in past seasons has been 48. I think I have a pretty optimistic take on the above games, but points could easily be dropped in matches I predicted a win. With a potentially impending midfield signing, who knows what could change for Charlotte FC and their playoff hopes. Despite my 47 points prediction, I still have high hopes and belief that Charlotte can make the playoffs in their inaugural season. I think Swiderski will pick up his scoring and finish the season with 10-12 goals. Sergio Ruiz has a solid chance of passing Bender as the assist leader on the team with his recent run of starts and good performances under Lattanzio. Team MVP was a tough pick for me between Bronico and Corujo and I think both are deserving, so it was truly a coin flip for me.


Vaughn (@VIPollman)

1.4 points per game. History tells us that’s the rough target for maintaining pace to be a fringe playoff team. Looking at today’s MLS Eastern Conference standings there are 6 teams vying for the 7th and final playoff spot who are chasing that 1.4 ppg target, and we’re among them. Projecting where we finish all depends on our ability to earn more wins on the road and I see our best opportunities to do that at Toronto, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Anything less than 7 points from those games and we will see ourselves on the wrong side of the playoff line unless we can earn some marquee wins against tougher opponents down the stretch. I have us finishing on 44 points, or 1.29 ppg, painfully short of a playoff spot. We’ll have to do better than I project to squeak into the playoffs, and as I predicted before the season, this isn’t necessarily a reflection of us and more so that we are part of a very strong and balanced Eastern Conference. Hopefully I’m wrong (the jinx is on), we can go on a run, and pick up 4 to 6 additional points by finding our scoring boots and finishing with a positive goal differential and a playoff appearance.


Kyran (@QCSoccerReport) It will go down to Decision Day, but Charlotte, in my opinion, will miss out on playoffs by a point or two. We can compete against anyone at home, but away matches against LAFC, NYCFC, and Red Bulls will be tough. However, picking up maximum points against clubs at the bottom of the standings (CHI, DC, & TOR) is realistic. I think if there's a club we will pass it will be Columbus, therefore the match against them at home will be crucial. I don’t think we will catch Cincinnati because they are an improving side who we will lose to and 7 of their last 13 matches are against clubs that are not in a playoff spot right now. Swiderski will pass Shinyashiki to end up with 11 goals, especially if we bring in a midfielder to help supply him with chances. Bender will end up with the most assists. Reyna is going to continue to emerge as another playmaker. It’s not a coincidence that the matches where we dominated at home (vs NSH, FCC, & NER) all included Bender assists. Also, I feel McNeill will flourish as a supersub. For Team MVP, I chose between Corujo and Kahlina. Corujo has brought so much stability in our centerback situation. I have more concerns about our fullback situation. I went with Kahlina though. He’s had 3.3 saves per 90 and a save percentage of 72%.

Matt Swift (@160_Swiftly)

First and foremost, we were never "screwed," and fans will see just how much depth we have in this squad this second half of the season. With an in-form Yordy Reyna, a revitalized Karol Swiderski, and weapons off the bench, I can see us finishing with around 51 points, good enough for 6th place in the East. We have a favorable three-game home stand that should propel us forward and get us where we need to be to finish strong.


Carroll (@CarrollRogers) To me, the next four games determine if Charlotte FC makes the playoffs. Do they carry the momentum of the Chelsea win into Toronto and pick up only their second road win of the season? Then they come home to play three games in a week at “the fortress” - all “winnable” games at Bank of America Stadium against Columbus, D.C. United and Chicago. If they win those four - is it possible?! - hold their own against some tough Northeast opponents down the stretch, Swiderski hits his stride, the team continues to grow under Lattanzio, and possibly adds another midfielder, Charlotte makes some more history this inaugural season. Buckle up!



Final Thoughts


Opinions are divided between the writers of TopBin90 and our guests. This seems to point toward what we all expect going into the end of the season: a team capable of making the playoffs, but still suffering from growth spurts and some poor results early in the season. We all hope Matt Swift, Carroll, and Brian's predictions are the most correct as their point totals would most certainly guarantee playoffs for the inaugural season.


TopBin90 wants to give a special shout out to all our collaborating guests. Each of these individuals has put forth an incredible amount of time and dedication into supporting the team, creating content, and making the Charlotte FC community as special and inviting as it is. Please reach out and give each of them a follow and check out their work. Each guest's twitter profile is hyperlinked in the bottom line section above.