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Pick: Charlotte FC to win (+110)
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Despite missing out on the playoff spots in their debut season last time around, Charlotte FC were quite impressive in the league. There were quite a few positive highlights for them throughout the season that they could use to build momentum this season. One of them was Charlotte FC doing the double over New York City FC and then beating Philadelphia Union 4-0.
The New England Revolution finished level on points with Charlotte FC at the end of last season. They beat New York City FC too but were only able to do it once. Apart from that, the New England Revolution did not cause any major upsets that could have had an impact on the league standings and playoff qualifications.
It is an evenly matched encounter and the game could be decided on individual mistakes. Charlotte FC will be eager to climb higher up the table this season and that desire might just get them the win.
Last season was the first time these two sides faced off in the MLS. The minimal head-to-head record is evenly balanced as both sides have clinched one win over the other.
In March 2022, a brace from Karol Swiderski and a solitary goal from Ben Bender helped Charlotte FC beat New England Revolution 3-1 at the Bank of America Stadium. Former Aston Villa attacker converted a penalty and scored a consolation goal for New England Revolution.
That defeat was avenged in the reverse fixture at the Gillette Stadium in April last year. Adam Buksa and Matt Polster put New England Revolution two up after 72 minutes before Cristian Ortiz pulled one back five minutes from time but Charlotte FC could not find the equalizer.
Last season, Charlotte FC were only six points off the final playoff spot. This season, their primary aim will be to cut that deficit down and try to secure seventh place and experience playoff football in only their second season.
The club showed its strength and potential last season and has been active in the transfer window to reinforce the existing squad. Charlotte FC have added new players in every part of the field from defense to attack.
It will be interesting to see how the club charges towards the playoff spot this season with last season’s heroes and promising new faces.
There is a lot of room for improvement at Charlotte FC. The club scored goals in 34 games last season and ended up conceding 52 in the process. It is evident that the offensive and defensive departments need reinforcement.
Hence, Charlotte FC were busy during the transfer window. In defense, two new center-backs have been added to the roster in the form of Hamady Diop, who was drafted in from Clemson Tigers, and Bill Tuiloma, who was signed from Portland.
In midfield, Charlotte FC have secured a vital signing of defensive midfielder Ashley Westwood from Burnley. Brandon Cambridge has also joined from the Portland Pilots. Both signings have been free transfers
In addition to the new signings made in defense and midfield, Charlotte FC have also added a couple of new faces in attack, alongside last season’s top scorer Karol Swiderski. The club have splashed the cash on striker Enzo Copetti and snatched him away from Racing Club.
Before that, Patrick Agyemang was drafted into the side from the RI Rams. Andre Shinyashiki scored seven goals last season whilst operating from the left flank and will continue to do the same as no new wingers have been signed by Charlotte FC yet.
14-year-old winger Nimfasha Berchimas has been included in the squad while goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas and right-back Koa Santos returned from their respective loan spells at the end of November 2022.
The tenth-place finish last season was a disappointing blow for the New England Revolution after they finished at the top of the league in 2021. The side will be eager to hoist themselves back into the top four at least if not the top of the table this season.
New England Revolution won 22 out of 34 games in the 2021 MLS season, scoring 65 goals and conceding 41 in the process. Immediately after that season, the New England Revolution managed to win only ten games out of 34 games last season.
Their goal difference went in the negative as they scored only 47 and conceded 50 goals during the entire campaign. To change things around this season, they have been active in the market and tried to rope in players who could help them reclaim their lost form.
However, considering the revamp every other MLS team has gone through, New England Revolution still seem a tad weak in comparison.
In a season during which the New England Revolution desperately needed goals, Adam Buksa made a significant contribution again. The striker scored seven goals and assisted two in ten appearances for New England Revolution last season.
Overall, Buksa has scored 35 goals in 73 appearances for New England Revolution. However, after spending two years at the club, the striker has parted ways with New England Revolution to join the French club Lens.
As a result, New England Revolution have brought in a couple of new faces in attack but it will be interesting to see how they fit in alongside the club’s top-scorer of last season Gustavo Bou, who finished the season with eight goals.
Five new faces have been added to the New England Revolution squad this season. The majority of them are attack-minded players while former Nashville center-back Dave Romney is the only new defender on the new arrivals sheet.
In midfield, Latif Blessing has been signed from Los Angeles FC, while 18-year-old Jack Panayotou has joined the club from Georgetown. Josh Bolma was drafted earlier from Maryland.
Up front, Bobby Wood has been signed from Salt Lake and Edward Kizza has returned from his loan spell at Pittsburgh to give the New England Revolution additional options in attack.
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● Teams: Charlotte FC vs New England Revolution
● Location: Bank of America Stadium
● Time: Saturday, February 25 at 7:30 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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