It was only one win, but Week 4's 3-1 home triumph over the New England Revolution was both historic and cathartic for Charlotte FC.
The expansion side is off the mark following their comprehensive handling of the Revs, which saw Designated Player Karol Świderski break out to open his account with a pair of goals (the first brace in club history), with rookie No. 1 overall MLS SuperDraft pick Ben Bender assisting on both and scoring another himself in the second half.
Holding their first MLS points in the bag has made for decidedly positive vibes back in training as they look to build on the performance against FC Cincinnati at home this Saturday (5 pm ET | UniMas, TUDN, Twitter).
"Of course [winning] always helps to have a better mood, better optimism," Charlotte head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez said on Thursday. "Of course I knew that we were in a process and we should improve on becoming better with the weeks, because it's a completely new roster. They didn't play with each other, and now only for two and a half months. It's still under construction, I would say. But of course it's better to build something winning than losing."
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Ramírez said his team must also keep a level head and remember the win was one result in a 34-game season.
"We cannot move with the waves of the expectations," Ramírez said. "We have to be very clear on who we are and the process that we are making. So forget the expectations. The expectations never help, I believe. Never help. Because you are not present, you are only thinking of the future of what can happen. This doesn't help at all. So forget about the playoffs, let's think about Cincinnati on Saturday. We want to be present. I don't want to think about Monday, I want to think about Saturday."
The upcoming match with FC Cincinnati pits Charlotte against an Eastern Conference foe that has looked ascendant in its own right, winning its last two matches against Inter Miami CF and Orlando City SC behind a torrid scoring run from forward Brandon Vazquez.
Ramírez said his team is preparing for an improved Cincinnati as they look to slow down the likes of Vazquez and Argentine playmaker Luciano Acosta. The Orange & Blue are led by first-year head coach Pat Noonan.
"They have good players and they are super aggressive going forward and running into space," he said. "I mean, when they feel they can run, they do. They have big center forwards, very creative and really good on the ball attacking midfielder, and wingbacks that [get up and down]. So of course we need to reduce the spaces, because with the space they kill you. They are super aggressive, super brave to go forward, so we are preparing ourselves to reduce the spaces and to share with more bodies the space to avoid that they have this. That was more or less the preparation."