Charlotte FC will look to continue their home dominance on Saturday night when they host Chicago Fire FC.
Charlotte (9-12-2, 29 points) improved to 8-3-0 at Bank of America Stadium after posting a 3-0 victory over D.C. United on Wednesday. The eight wins matches the Fire (1998) and Atlanta United (2017) for the most through 11 home games for a first-year club in MLS history.
Karol Swiderski gave the Charlotte fans yet another thrill on Wednesday. All of his team-leading six goals this season have been scored in North Carolina.
Wednesday’s victory avenged the expansion club’s decision from its first match, a 3-0 setback to D.C. United on Feb. 26.
“It just shows the growth of the team,” said midfielder Quinn McNeill, who scored his first career MLS goal on Wednesday. “That was the first game, and at a new club, there are always going to be difficult growing pains. In the season now, we have enough games under our belt, I think, that the team is coming together. So hopefully more performances like this should start coming our way.”
The Fire (7-10-6, 27 points) extended their unbeaten streak to four matches after following up three straight wins with a scoreless draw against Atlanta United last Saturday.
Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina made two saves to record his 10th shutout of the season. Three days later, the Fire agreed to a club-record, multimillion dollar transfer fee with English Premier League side Chelsea FC for the 18-year-old Illinois native.
“We’re very proud and happy to see Gaga reach this milestone moment in his career,” Fire sporting director Georg Heitz said. “… In addition to his incredible talent, he is mature beyond his years, extremely hard working, and a fantastic teammate. Gaga is a role model to many young aspiring footballers in Chicago, and this transfer demonstrates that a player can progress to the first team from our Academy before joining one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Xherdan Shaqiri leads Chicago in both goals (four) and assists (eight) this season.
–Field Level Media