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Apr 26, 2024 7:34 pm

NYCFC out to build on win, while Charlotte FC eye rebound

Santiago Rodriguez

For Charlotte FC and New York City FC, the theme of their respective matches last week was about one team being able to finish and another falling short.

As a result of Charlotte’s disappointing loss and one of NYCFC’s best performances of the season, the teams share identical records heading into their encounter Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

Charlotte (3-4-2, 11 points) scored three goals for the first time two weeks ago when it earned a one-goal home win over Toronto FC, but the follow-up was a dud in a 3-0 home loss to Minnesota on Sunday. After rallying to earn its previous win, Charlotte mustered one shot on goal and gave up three goals in a span of 22 minutes bridging the first and second halves.

“We just can’t play like that in this league, you get punished,” Charlotte captain Ashley Westwood said. “We’ve had a reality check.”

Charlotte is coming off its third shutout loss of the season, and two are on the road, where it has scored just twice.

NYCFC (3-4-2, 11 points) are on a modest four-game unbeaten streak and are 3-1-2 in its past six matches. The club scored only once in a season-opening three-game losing streak that culminated with a late collapse against Portland on March 9.

After starting its unbeaten streak with 1-1 draws against Inter Miami and Atlanta United, NYCFC are coming off consecutive 2-0 victories.

In last Saturday’s win over D.C. United, Santiago Rodriguez scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 20th minute and set up Julian Fernandez, who scored in second-half stoppage time for the second straight week.

“I said after the game in the locker room it has been a long time since we’ve gone back-to-back — too long, really, since we went back-to-back — so it’s good to enjoy that after the game,” NYCFC coach Nick Cushing said.

“Now we have the opportunity to do a three-game run. We have to make sure we do that before we think about anything else.”

NYCFC also produced 22 shots — eight on target — against D.C. after scoring twice in the second half two weeks ago against the New England Revolution.

Charlotte is 4-0-1 in the clubs’ previous matchups, including a 1-0 home win in the 2024 season opener.

–Field Level Media

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