Charlotte FC interim head coach Christian Lattanzio has vowed to ‘fight until the end’ to deliver an MLS Cup Playoffs berth for the club’s supporters.
CLTFC have enjoyed excellent support since entering Major League Soccer at the start of this season, breaking the MLS attendance record in their first-ever home match and sitting second in the league for average attendance.
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That support has helped inspire Charlotte to the third-best home record in MLS with eight wins from 12 matches at Bank of America Stadium so far.
Heading into Sunday’s clash at home to Orlando City, CLTFC sit 10th in the East, just a single point below the final Playoffs spot – occupied by this weekend’s opponents.
It’s going to be a tall order for Charlotte to rise above the logjam in the East, but Lattanzio has vowed to battle right until the end to try and reward the supporters that have lit up the club’s first season in MLS.
“We want to fight every game until the end, because we have a fanbase that deserves that,” said Lattanzio. “They’ve shown a lot of love to this team from day one. They keep showing passion, and we want them to keep showing us that because they give us so much strength and enthusiasm.
“We want to play in a way that makes them proud and makes them get behind the team even more, even though they would probably be anyway! But we need to deserve that and cannot take it for granted.”
Something that does play into Charlotte’s hands is the fact that five of their remaining eight regular-season matches are at home.
Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina has revealed how much of an impression the supporters have made outside of the North Carolina bubble, echoing his head coach’s statement on delivering Playoffs soccer for the fans.
“They ask me every time, ‘What is this? These are the craziest fans, and all your games are so nice to watch.’ Everybody who comes here, they want to feel this atmosphere,” said the Croatian.
“Even in this press conference, I want to call all our fans to come on Sunday to support us one more time like they have until now. Because, for us, we have eight finals starting from Sunday.”
Yael Averbuch West hosted none other than Christian Fuchs for the latest episode of Football Americana. The Charlotte FC captain provided insight into the creation of Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team, and bringing European culture into the American side.