Year founded: 2019.
First season in MLS: 2022.
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
2023 highlights: Charlotte start their second season at home to New England Revolution on February 25th, the same side against whom they picked up their first points and first win in MLS, in game four of the 2022 edition. They go from facing one of the MLS originals in game one, to being the opponent for newcomer St. Louis City's home opener a week later. That game is then followed by a return home to face rivals Atlanta United. Charlotte has a pretty balanced schedule. They meet Real Salt Lake for the first time (away on April 8th), and follow that with a home game against the team from the other side of the Rockies, the Colorado Rapids (April 15th). Their longest stretch away from home comes end of May/early June when they travel to LA Galaxy, Philadelphia Union, and Columbus Crew - no easy run. Their final game of the regular season is home to Inter Miami CF on October 21st.
Head Coach: Christian Lattanzio.
Players to watch: Karol Swiderski, Enzo Copetti.
Harrison Afful (re-signed) Patrick Agyemang (MLS SuperDraft signing)
Nimfasha Berchimas (homegrown) Brandon Cambridge (homegrown) Enzo Copetti (transfer from Racing Club) Hamady Diop (Generation adidas)
Andrew Privett (MLS SuperDraft signing)
Yordy Reyna (buyout)
Nick Scardina (MLS SuperDraft signing)
Bill Tuiloma (trade from Portland Timbers) Ashley Westwood (transfer from Burnley)
Jordy Alcívar (transfer to Independiente del Valle) Alan Franco (loan expired) Christian Fuchs (option declined/retired) Quinn McNeill (option declined) Daniel Ríos (transfer to Chivas) Koa Santos (option declined)
2022 summary: it was a mixed bag of a first season in MLS. They got off to a bumpy start, losing key senior executives in Tom Glick and Nick Kelly, before head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez was fired just 14 games in. Christian Lattanzio took over as interim head coach, finally having the interim tag removed at the end of the season, having taken them to the brink of the playoffs with an 8-10-2 record. Only MLS Cup finalists LAFC (13) and Philadelphia Union (12) won more home games than the North Carolina club (10), who finished ninth in the Eastern Conference. Their road form let them down, with just 11 of their 42 points coming away from Bank of America Stadium (3-12-2). They lost their first three games as the newcomers, before claiming their first points in game four and a 3-1 home win over New England Revolution. That was their second home game, and they enjoyed a crowd of 29,318, which was a shadow of the number which turned out for their home opener against LA Galaxy, a 1-0 loss watched by an all-time league record of 74,479. Charlotte finished strong, winning three in a row before ending with a 2-0 reversal at the Red Bulls. Their last win was 4-0 over Philadelphia Union, the runaway Eastern Conference leaders, in which Daniel Rios scored all four. The crowd that night was almost 44,000. Karol Swiderski finished as top scorer, netting 10 goals, including three multi-goal games.
Facts and Stats: last season being their first in MLS, there were obviously a number of firsts. Their first goal was scored by Adam Armour, local to North Carolina, in game three of the season, a 2-1 loss in Atlanta. The first multi-goal scorer was Karol Swiderski, who scored twice in the 3-1 win over the Revolution in game four. They had two red cards shown in their debut season, and both were issued to English Premier League winner and former Austria international Christian Fuchs, who has since retired. When homegrown winger Nimfasha Berchimas was signed to a professional contract on November 17th, 2022, he became the sixth youngest player to do so in MLS, aged 14 years, 268 days.
Milestones in 2023: Harrison Afful, who re-signed during the offseason, is 15 appearances away from 200 in MLS. The next MLS game that has Joseph Mora in from the beginning will be the Costa Rican's 100th start. Chris Hegardt made five substitute appearances in 2022 after Charlotte acquired his homegrown rights from Seattle, but Brian Romero became the first of the club's true homegrown signings, when he was announced on August 3rd. The offseason has brought two more homegrown additions in Nimfasha Berchimas and Brandon Cambridge, though Cambridge's rights were acquired from the Whitecaps. Romero and Berchimas both came through the Charlotte FC Academy. So, who will be the first player classed as a homegrown to start for Charlotte, and which of those to have come through the club's academy will be the first to make their debut?