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  • Charlotte FC has a new Designated Player wearing number 9

    By Jorge Gonzales Photo Courtesy of Charlotte FC Charlotte FC has a new number nine leading the front. According to a source, Karol Świderski will wear jersey number 9 at Charlotte FC, and will be available for selection against Austin FC. The Polish striker previously wore jersey number 11 in his first stint with Charlotte FC. The last striker to wear the 9 was Argentine striker Enzo Copetti, who was sold to Argentine side Rosario Central in mid-May. The Polish international left on loan to Serie A side Hellas Verona on deadline day earlier this year, but Verona and Charlotte FC failed to agree on a deal to make it a permanent transfer. Karol made 70 appearances for the club, scoring 25 goals and making 13 assists in his first stint with The Crown.

  • Charlotte FC Stock Up, Stock Down: Westwood has Player of the Year performance

    By Sam Vanolinda Ashley Westwood (Photo courtesy of CJ Hellner/TopBin90) Charlotte FC bounced back after a rough patch with an impressive 3-1 victory against one of the best teams in the league, FC Cincinnati Saturday night in Ohio. It was a game jam-packed with action, with two disallowed goals, a red card, a penalty save, and back-and-forth play that rivaled an NBA game. It is hard to write about football after my home country just lost its second straight Euro finals, but this performance was incredible. England could've used Westwood on Sunday after his performance versus Cincinnati Here is the stock up/down for this match: Stock Up Ashley Westwood This was a vintage Ashley Westwood performance. The leader in the middle of the pitch was able to grab a hat trick of assists Saturday night in a perfect performance. Not only was he able to help slow down an incredibly talented Cincinnati attack led by Luciano Acosta, but he also pulled the strings like prime Steve Nash, setting up all of the Charlotte FC goals. His first assist was a beautiful first-time whipped ball to the back post after Abada passed the ball to him on the edge of the box, which Tavares finished well. His second assist was a nifty tapped ball through a tight space to Adada who smashed the ball into the net. His third was a corner that was headed in by Kerwin Vargas, a winger who has been incredible in the air so far this year compared to most wingers. On top of those assists, Westwood was 54/58 on passing, had five chances created, seven passes into the final third, two interceptions, and seven recoveries. May have been the best performance by any Charlotte player this year. Kristijan Kahlina  Kahlina continues to be a top-tier goalkeeper in MLS. He proved himself on Saturday with his amazing penalty save which helped secure the three points. Kahlina also had six total saves (four diving saves) and 1.40 goals prevented. Kahlina is perfect for this team because he can bail out the defensive mistakes that inevitably will happen when you are in a low-possession squad. The Front Three Each member of the front three on Saturday, Vargas, Taveres, and Abada, all had similarly good games, each contributing a goal and having solid performances.  Tavares solidified himself as someone who can offer cover for Agyemang in that striker position. His versatility will be valuable for the squad as the season goes on.  Vargas, after a rough start to the year, has been consistently good for the past month or so, he seems to be a player that improves as the season progresses.  Abada was very active on the ball and was creating numerous chances for the team. He is a player who is very important and can take over when Charlotte FC counterattacks.   Summary  After such a positive game, there are not many negatives that can be pointed out on Saturday. Despite some players falling out of the lineup and having minimal impact recently (Dejaegere, Lindsey, Petkovic, Tuiloma) I don’t feel the need to go into detail about those players. A pretty cool fact that Brian picked out is that Charlotte had four SuperDraft players on the field in the 90th minute of the game Saturday night when Nick Scardina was subbed on for his debut. It shows the success of the development team within the club and how young players have been able to come into the first team and make an impact.  We look toward the next game, away versus Colombus on Wednesday. Charlotte sits sixth in the East and is only two points off fourth, each game is massive for the rest of the year.

  • Charlotte FC's predicted starting XI vs FC Cincinnati

    By Ryan Donahue Photo courtesy of CJ Hellner / TopBin90 After a disappointing result last week against Inter Miami, Dean Smith and Charlotte FC will be looking to bounce back against eastern conference leaders FC Cincinnati this weekend on the road.  Since losing to Miami and Houston in recent weeks, Charlotte has dropped to sixth in the east; however, with a win against the conference leaders, the side could move back into the fourth. Cincinnati, who recently thumped Miami in a 6-1 victory after defeating D.C. and Dallas, will be high on confidence coming into this home fixture. In terms of key players for Cincinnati, Luciano Acosta will be key to the team's attack. In his 22 appearances so far this season, he has scored 10 goals and contributed 15 assists. If Charlotte are to get a result over Cincinnati, they will have to do it without their key center forward Patrick Agyemang, who will miss the match due to a late red card in the previous game. Without Agyemang to lead the line and with Karol Świderski still yet to become available for selection, Smith will have to get creative with how he lines up his attacking front three. Ahead of Charlotte’s fixture against Cincinnati, our team assessed how Smith could potentially line his side up against the league leaders. Defensive unit In defense, Adilson Malanda and Andrew Privett will both partner at center-back with the defensive pair having recently signed contract extensions it is almost guaranteed they will retain their starting spots. At outside back, Nathan Byrne and Jere Uronen are also expected to start. Midfield line In the midfield, Ashley Westwood, Brandt Bronico, and Djibril Diani as a trio would be the most likely starting midfield with Smith looking to control Acosta’s ability to create for his forwards. Forward line At offense, it is more than likely that Liel Abada and Kerwin Vargas will be the starting options on the wing however with Patrick Agyemang out with suspension Smith could look at giving the starting opportunity to luri Tavares who has featured off the bench so far this season as a second half option. Another option Smith may consider is using Abada and Vargas as wide strikers in a false three with Brecht Dejaegere being an option to fit into the false central forward position. For Charlotte to have success against this high-caliber Cincinnati side, Charlotte will need a sound performance from its defensive partnerships that have proven so difficult to break down this season. With Agyemang unavailable, Smith may be able to deploy an unpredictable attacking strategy that creates issues for Cincinnati's back line. Predicted XI

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