Thu, 30 Jun 2022

Charlotte looking for first road victory, visit Crew

Field Level Media
18 Jun 2022, 04:40 GMT+10

In a season of firsts for Charlotte FC, the club's initial victory on the road is the next objective for new coach Christian Lattanzio when the expansion team plays at the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Lattanzio debuted with a 2-0 home win against the New York Red Bulls on June 11 following the firing of Miguel Angel Ramirez. While Charlotte FC (6-8-1, 19 points) is seventh in the Eastern Conference, they have earned just point in seven road games while being outscored 13-4.

"I don't want to change," Lattanzio said. "I want us to play the same home and away. That takes time. As I've said a couple of times, we need to be humble with that. But at the same time, we're going to go with our structure because I believe that to develop the team you need to go through a process that increases week by week, so you become more familiar."

The Crew (4-5-4, 16 points) might be ripe for the picking, having lost three of their past four home matches.

Columbus has not played since a 2-1 win at Atlanta United on May 28 and anticipation is building that the Crew will make a significant signing in the coming weeks to replace U.S. national team forward Gyasi Zardes, who was traded to the Colorado Rapids on April 22.

In the meantime, Erik Hurtado is trying to fill the void. He has two goals in 116 minutes over four games (one start), including the winner against Atlanta. Not bad for a player who had his option declined by the Crew in the offseason before being re-signed as the third striker behind Zardes and Miguel Berry.

"It's good to be involved in the group and helping the group get results," Hurtado said. "I'm a team player, so whenever I'm called upon, I'm here to work, and if I'm not (playing), I'm going to push them."

--Field Level Media

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