Sports

Charlotte FC to ‘continue building’ under new head coach Christian Lattanzio, says Krneta

Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta believes the permanent appointment of Christian Lattanzio is the right step as the club ‘continues building’ following their inaugural season.

Lattanzio took over after the shock removal of first-ever head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez in May, with the Spaniard departing after just 14 games.

What Ramirez left was a team in decent form given their newly-minted MLS status, but one in desperate need of a head coach who could forge unity and clarity.

Lattanzio provided that, ending the season with an 8-10-2 record, almost taking CLTFC to the MLS Cup Playoffs and inspiring high-profile wins over the likes of NYCFC and the Philadelphia Union.

Now, it’s time to build on that success in year two.

“It was very important after potentially not getting the ideal candidate in our first head coach. We wanted to make sure the second one was the right one,” Krneta said (via MLSsoccer.com). “Chris did a great job of almost leading the boys to the playoffs, but everything else about him, he’s oozing positivity. We’re building for the future and this is what we wanted.”

Charlotte now face a critical winter offseason. Despite their strong debut in MLS, Lattanzio still needs to add some extra quality right across the pitch if they’re to compete with the league’s best teams.

What’s more, there are rumors of European interest in DP striker Karol Swiderski, who will have the chance to impress any potential suitors at the World Cup with Poland.

“We have to continue building,” Krneta said. “We signed three players in the summer, who all fit very well. We have some missing pieces — maybe three or four — and we’ll be a club who are ready for the playoffs. We always said it’s not going to be one year, it’s going to be a building process. We’re building a community, a fan base, and relationships with fans.”

As for Lattanzio himself, he’s relishing the chance of having an offseason to add new players and work on more in-depth tactics after stepping into the head coach role with little notice during the season.

“It’s difficult for any coach that takes over during the season, you’re trying to do that while preparing games,” he said. “You need to get results but at the same time, trying to change some principles of play, trying to give new information. This is a challenge, but it’s a challenge you have to embrace. I found a group of players that were versatile and clever, giving this football club their best. That was a big help.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

Back to top button