Week 12 of MLS witnessed several teams returning to their winning ways after dropping points in the previous week.
LAFC didn’t let last week’s loss to San Jose dissuade them as they beat Real Salt Lake, Charlotte FC continued to pile on the misery for Atlanta United as they put three past them in their victory, and Evander gave the Portland crowd something to cheer about in the Timbers 3-1 thumping of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
All the games in this list showcased an exciting, attacking style of play that could captivate even a neutral viewer of MLS.
Here are three games from match date twelve that are worth taking a closer look at.
Though Charlotte FC were the underdogs in this match their match against Atlanta United, they weren’t afraid to go head to head against a side that boasts the attacking firepower of Thiago Almada, Luiz Araujo, and Caleb Wiley.
Lining up in a 4-3-3, Charlotte attacked through their wingers and full-backs. Despite having less possession (43% to Atlanta’s 57%), the North Carolina team stayed compacted defensively and struck when they received offensive opportunities.
With patience and coordination, Charlotte executed a high press that put the Five Stripes under pressure.
After winning the ball back, Charlotte would quickly strike and attack the opposition’s goal with vertical passes over the top to bypass the defense.
That’s how Charlotte scored their first goal of the night through Justin Meram in the 18th minute.
Hitting on the counter, the men in blue kept the ball live just enough to find an unmarked Meram at the back post.
The 34-year-old then finished the pass into the upper roof of the net, putting his team up 1-0.
Charlotte would continue their goal-scoring prowess in the 52nd minute through a Karol Swiderski penalty.
Their third and final goal of the night was similar to their first.
Charlotte’s vertical passing caught Atlanta flat-footed, and Meram, once again – beat his defender, snuck to the back post, and slotted it in to put Charlotte up 3-1 in the 57th minute.
In the end, although Atlanta may have had more of the ball, it was Charlotte who had more quality shots on target and ruthlessness in front of goal to grab the win.
The Portland Timbers got their fourth win…