MLS: Charlotte FC out to seize opportunity at Galaxy

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Charlotte FC will look to end a two-game losing streak when they visit the reeling Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

Charlotte FC (5-6-3, 18 points) is coming off a 1-0 loss on the road to Birmingham Legion FC of the USL Championship — a second-tier professional division — in the U.S. Open Cup’s round of 16 on Wednesday. The Crown had to play a man down for the final 39 minutes after Adilson Malanda’s red card in the 51st minute and conceded the game-winning goal in the 60th.

“We had plenty of chances to win this game, playing 11 against 11,” Charlotte coach Christian Lattanzio said. “I thought that we didn’t play with the conviction that we should have.”

Charlotte suffered its second straight second-half collapse against Birmingham after falling in the final minute against visiting Nashville SC on Saturday. Hany Mukhtar’s second goal of the game — a penalty kick in the third minute of stoppage time — was the difference in a 2-1 result.

The Galaxy (2-8-3, 9 points) are coming off a 2-0 win over their local rival, Los Angeles FC, in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday on goals by Tyler Boyd and Ricard Puig in the 49th and 52nd minutes, respectively.

The Galaxy’s win over LAFC in “El Trafico” was one of few bright spots for the squad this season. A year after reaching the Western Conference semifinals, the Galaxy own the worst record in MLS, and their 10 goals are tied for second-fewest, one ahead of Sporting Kansas City.

The victory provided some optimism for the Galaxy, who were blanked by host D.C. United 3-0 last Saturday after falling 2-0 at Columbus on May 17.

“These types of games are always difficult and … I’m proud of our guys coming off of a plane on a six-day trip across the country,” Galaxy coach and sporting director Greg Vanney told reporters. “To turn it around in two days and put out a gritty performance (Tuesday), that’s a lot to say for our group.”

The Galaxy are led by Dejan Joveljic, who has a team-high two goals this season. Enzo Copetti is Charlotte’s top scorer with four goals, while Karol Swiderski has three.

–Field Level Media

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