Charlotte FC aim to keep Fire cold

It was just a year and a half ago that Patrick Agyemang was playing college soccer for Rhode Island.

Now he’s leading Charlotte FC in goals as the Crown heads to Chicago for a Wednesday night match with the struggling Fire.

Agyemang produced the only goal of Saturday night’s home match with Nashville SC, denting the net in the 52nd minute to enable Charlotte to gain revenge for a March defeat in Nashville.

Agyemang has three goals and an assist this season and is impressing coach Dean Smith more with every match.

“Really pleased to see him doing well because he’s got bags of potential,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of stuff to work with but he wants to get better and that’s the beauty of it.”

Agyemang says that not putting pressure on himself has helped him to succeed.

“As long as I play the way I know I can play, I will have my chances,” he said. “And as long as I have my chances, I just have to take advantage. It’s just me keeping level-headed and focused on what I can control.”

While Charlotte (5-5-2, 17 points) looks for its first win in six road matches, Chicago (2-6-4, 10 points) tries for its first win of any kind since April 6.

The Fire are 0-3-2 in their past five fixtures, including a 3-1 loss Saturday night at St. Louis City.

As one can deduce from the overall record, Chicago has struggled in all facets. It has averaged just a goal per match and allowed nearly two while also ranking near the bottom of the league in shots and possession time.

Coach Frank Klopas said slow starts, such as the one that found the Fire taking the ball out of their net in the second minute Saturday night, continue to haunt his team.

“We’ve talked about the starts,” he said. “We prepared all week, told them what to expect. The first half, our ability to compete and win duels wasn’t good enough.”

–Field Level Media