CLTFC falls to LA Galaxy in front of record MLS crowd
CHARLOTTE -- Scoring opportunities are precious in soccer, goals even more so. Outshot by the LA Galaxy, a founding team in MLS 27 years ago with a record five MLS Cup trophies in nine finals, 21-5, Charlotte FC fell 1-0 in its inaugural home match. One shot Charlotte did score on was the crowd of 74, 479, which set a new MLS record as well as making the mark as the second largest soccer attendance in the world this year.
Charlotte had much of the early possession but LA eventually started finding its rhythm and created several dangerous opportunities. The stellar play of goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina and timely blocks by the defense kept Charlotte even for the majority of the play. Charlotte's number one showed his class in making clutch saves on shots by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Raheem Edwards.
The new kids on the pitch held the Galaxy in check until the 77th minute. That's when Efrain Alverez's left footed rocket from 20 yards out on left tailed away from Kahlina but not enough to miss the inside of the far post. It was LA's 19th shot of the match against only three by Charlotte at the time. "I believe I am the happiest coach in the world," said Charlotte coach Miguel Angel Ramirez, commenting post-match about his team's play and the crowd.
"It was amazing."
Charlotte is 0-2 and will open the I-85 rivalry at Atlanta United next Sunday. Asked about the atmosphere, "It was unbelievable," said Jaylin Lindsey, the 21-year-old defender who has become a starter since returning to his home town after playing for Sporting KC's academy and senior team since 2015.
As for the loss, he stated with no hesitation, "It sucks to lose but I'm so, so proud."