Charlotte FC is coming off a 5-1 midweek rout of the USL League One side Richmond Kickers in the US Open Cup play, but it will face tougher opposition this weekend in its return to Major League Soccer competition.
The Charlotte-based expansion team hosts CF Montreal on Saturday at 7 pm at Bank of America Stadium.
Charlotte FC (4-6-1) sits eighth in the Eastern Conference and has won its past four matches at home, but Montreal (5-3-2) is ranked third in the same conference and has not lost a game since March . Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez said he likes the way Montreal plays the most of any team in the league.
“I don’t see anything random,” Ramírez said of the Wilfried Nancy-led club. “You see some movements and patterns on purpose. What I really like is the coaching process behind (the team). ”
The Canadian club is ranked second in the league for goals (19) and assists (22), behind Austin FC in each category. Montreal midfielder Djordje Mihailovic leads his team in goals (five) and assists (four) this season and Charlotte FC’s defense will be looking to shut him down.
That might be more difficult with Charlotte FC’s captain Christian Fuchs questionable for the upcoming match with a right thigh injury. Fuchs, a starter in the left back and left center back positions, exited last weekend’s game against Inter Miami early due to the injury and did not play during Wednesday’s Open Cup match.
Ramírez said Friday that Fuchs did not recover as quickly as the team expected.
“We need to scan him and see that maybe he (needs) more time to recover,” Ramirez said. “I’m not sure if I want to take the risk in this game.”
In addition to Fuchs, players with long-term injuries, Vinicius Mello, Chris Hegardt and Adam Armor remain listed out.
Charlotte FC player availability report vs. Montreal
Vinicius Mello (left foot surgery)
Chris Hegardt (left knee surgery)
Adam Armor (left knee surgery)
Christian Fuchs (right thigh injury)
WHAT CHANNEL IS CHARLOTTE FC ON?
Charlotte, NC: WAXN & WSOC-D2, Telemundo
Greenville-N.Bern-Washgtn, NC: WITN-D2
Raleigh-Durham, NC: WNGT
Columbia, SC: WIS
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: WLOS
Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC: EPDE
HOW TO LISTEN TO CHARLOTTE FC ON THE RADIO
You can listen to Saturday’s match on sports radio WFNZ 610AM / 92.7FM. The on-air talent will be Will Palaszczuk (play-by-play) and Jessica Charman (analyst).
The on-air talent for WAXN broadcasts in English will be Eric Krakauer (play-by-play), Lloyd Sam (analyst) and Katie Witham (sideline). The on-air talent for Telemundo broadcasts in Spanish will be Jaime Moreno (play-by-play) and Antonio Ramos (analyst).