(Pic credit: Charlotte FC site)
The first 2 matches of the season for Charlotte FC have been anything but a dream start. The home opener saw Charlotte lose 1-0 to a 89th minute goal against the New England Revolution in front of 69,345 fans.
Charlotte's 2nd match was even more of a nightmare. Charlotte lost 3-1 to new boys St. Louis City SC in their inaugural home opener. Charlotte opened the scoring with a nice header from Copetti to get his first goal of the season, after that everything went downhill. In the 41st minute Tuiloma would give St. Louis their first ever home goal in the gift of an own goal. In the 45+5' minute St. Louis would get their 2nd from a penalty thanks to a Swiderski handball in the box. Fastward to the 71st minute and St. Louis get their 3rd from a nightmare of a giveaway from Malanda to Klauss.
There are some silver linings from those first 2 matches. In the match against the Revs Charlotte went toe to toe with a tough opponent and had just as many opportunities to score. The pressing also looked great at times from Charlotte and caused a couple turnovers. The silver lining for the match against St. Louis would be Copetti opening his scoring account from a great goal.
Now lets look to this weeks opponent, Atlanta United. Atlanta come to Charlotte with a 1-1-0 record. In their first match they came from behind to beat San Jose 2-1 with two late goals from Thiago Almada. Atlanta's 2nd match saw them draw 1-1 with Toronto. The player to keep an eye on from Atlanta would obviously have to be Thiago Almada, his two last minute goals against San Jose were both up for goal of the week that week and he can be a deadly player when given the space.
We're only two matches into the season so I don't think it's time to hit the panic button yet. A win against rivals Atlanta would surely be a welcomed sight and calm some nerves from the results of the first two matches. Will we see more playing time for Kerwin Vargas and Nuno Santos this week? Will we finally get to see Vinicius Mello at least on the bench after being plagued with injuries? My prediction for this week's match is Charlotte finally gets things on track and gets a 2-0 win over Atlanta, one goal from Swiderski and one from Copetti.