Ashley Westwood says tactical flexibility has been the key to Charlotte FC's recent success, as they aim to continue their climb up the MLS standings against the Houston Dynamo.

Charlotte sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, nine points off leaders inter Miami, after taking 10 points from their last four matches.

Dean Smith's side claimed an impressive 2-0 road win over the Philadelphia Union last week, and Westwood feels the work the former Aston Villa boss has done on the training ground is really starting to pay off.

"The most impressive thing has been the way we've been able to change tactics and change things during games," Westwood said.

"It just shows the lads have taken the work on board. They listen and are starting to know the roles of every individual which, for me, is incredible."

Charlotte will face a tough test this weekend, though, against a Houston side currently seventh in the Western Conference and enjoying a five-game unbeaten streak.

Their latest result – a 4-1 rout of coach Ben Olsen's former club D.C. United – featured a hat-trick from the previously out-of-favour Sebastian Ferreira.

Asked about Ferreira's impact, Olsen said: "I'm extremely proud of Sebastien, this hasn't been easy for him, not getting the minutes he wanted last year and getting loaned out.

"Then coming back and just being behind physically, with several soft tissue injuries. This type of performance is a big deal.

"I'm happy he was a big part of it and now he's made my life a bit more difficult and that's what you want."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dynamo – Sebastian Ferreira

Ferreira became the second Paraguayan in MLS history to net a hat-trick in Houston's last game, joining Miguel Almiron, who did so in 2017 for Atlanta United, against the Dynamo.

It was the first hat-trick by a Dynamo player in over seven years, since Erick Torres' treble versus the New York Red Bulls in April 2017.

Charlotte FC – Patrick Agyemang

Agyemang scored both of Charlotte's goals against the Union last week.

That made him the ninth different player to score multiple goals in a match for the Crown in MLS, equalling Inter Miami for the most different players with a multi-goal game since Charlotte joined MLS in 2022.

MATCH PREDICTION: HOUSTON DYNAMO WIN

Charlotte won for the sixth time in their last 10 matches last Saturday (three draws, one defeat), with their 21 points over this span more than they have collected in any 10-match run in their history.

However, they may come unstuck on the road against in-form opponents this week.

Houston are unbeaten in their last five games (two wins, three draws) after routing D.C., and have scored multiple goals in all five of those contests – the longest such streak in their MLS history (also five games between July and August 2012).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Houston Dynamo – 45%

Charlotte FC – 28.1%

Draw – 26.9%