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We asked the fans how they feel and what they think the keys to the match are for Charlotte FC in their upcoming match versus Orlando City. Here is what we found:
Supporters’ feelings heading into the game
Graphic designed at WordArt.com
Fans have increased in confidence quickly from the result against LAFC over the weekend. The common words fans used to express how they felt going into Wednesday’s match were “confident”, “optimistic”, “hopeful”, and “consistent”. Other fans are a bit more held back stating by stating “cautious”, “nervous”, and “reserved”. Midfielders Brecht Dejaegere and Ashley Westwood also got callouts for their roles in the team.
The Creative Word Choice Award goes to @charlottefcmemespage for using “flabbergasted”.
Supporters’ keys to the game
The most important point fans expressed for this upcoming match was pressuring off the ball. Fans noted, specifically, the importance of pressuring Orlando City in the attacking third.
One of the simplest stats for analyzing how a team presses is by using passes per defensive action (PPDA). The lower this number is the fewer passes an opponent is allowed to make before the defense attacks the ball. According to Opta Analyst, Charlotte FC is ranked 12th (11.7) in MLS in PPDA. Charlotte FC is ranked 10th in high turnovers* created (195). The Crown is creating turnovers off of their press in dangerous areas but they aren’t turning those turnovers into goals, as they are still yet to score off of a high turnover.
Fans: @cerriej, @papi.jaredd, @pierce_ts2004
Fans also highlighted the importance of Charlotte FC’s defense showing up. More specifically, winning duels. Winning defensive duels goes hand in hand with the first point fans highlighted (pressuring). Overall, fans are looking for Charlotte to be active and efficient in their duties off the ball.
Charlotte FC is currently ranked 27th in duel percentage (47.7%). This doesn’t necessarily define every aspect of Charlotte’s defending but it should be noted that getting stuck into tackles and duels can be a vital stat for Charlotte when they are being countered because of how forward they prefer to play.
Center back Adilson Malanda is crucial on counters as he is often the last line of defense. His duel percentage is 61.4%. Well above the Crown’s team average. Charlotte’s defensive success could in part be dependent on how well Malanda performs in high-stakes 1v1 situations.
Fans: @beardyballantine, @overeasygreg, @clt_tony_, @spookywolffe
Multiple fans mentioned Charlotte FC’s new summer signing Dejaegere as an important piece for this game. In Dejaegere’s first start for the Crown, he delivered the most attacking volume on the team (based on expected goals and expected assists). He demonstrated an ability to find shots (3) and create chances (2 key passes).
Charlotte fans will be looking to see him continue to create chances against Orlando City as chance creation has been one of Charlotte FC’s weak points throughout the season.
Fans: @_.hernandezj._, @abramkdrums
*A high turnover is defined as a turnover that started in the attacking third within 40m of the opposition’s goal.