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Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

Key Departures

  • Riley McGree: It’s rare, if not outright unprecedented, for an expansion club to have an actual departure leading up to their first game. Australian international Riley McGree was acquired to be a fulcrum of their midfield and was loaned to Birmingham City until Charlotte reported for preseason this winter, but it became apparent a number of European clubs wanted him and he wanted to stay, then a move to Middlesbrough FC happened. McGree never actually arrived in Charlotte, instead staying in England’s Championship.

Key Acquisitions

  • Karol Swiderski: Charlotte’s first no-doubt-about-it, unmovable DP is Karol Swiderski. The Poland international was acquired for around a $5 million transfer fee from Greek club PAOK and will be the first choice center forward in Miguel Angel Ramirez’s 4-3-3 formation. MLS clubs have found some success with Polish forwards in recent years, like New England’s Adam Buksa and Portland’s Jaroslaw Niezgoda.
  • Sergio Ruiz: Charlotte’s first-ever signing, Spanish midfielder Sergio Ruiz is a player sporting director Zoran Krneta has raved about. The club were deliberate in building out their spine first, with Ruiz a core part of that strategy. He excelled in the Spanish second tier and MLSsoccer.com reported a number of clubs made inquiries and offers about acquiring him, but Charlotte didn’t budge.
  • Jordy Alcivar: A rising Ecuadorian international, Jordy Alcivar already has 86 appearances under his belt in his native country with LDU Quito before signing with Charlotte this winter. The defensive midfielder will play a key role for CLT FC and will likely be on the roster as a Young DP to start the season, but can be bought down with allocation money in the future.
  • Anton Walkes: One of a few key players with MLS experience, Anton Walkes was acquired in the Expansion Draft after being left unprotected by Atlanta United. Charlotte took the defender with their first selection and signed him to a long-term contract extension before their inaugural game.
  • Guzman Corujo: A Uruguayan center back who was captain of Nacional and has extensive Copa Libertadores experience? Guzman Corujo’s signing has flown under the radar a bit because most of us aren’t very good at talking about center backs until they get here. But Corujo is one to keep an eye on for Charlotte’s inaugural defensive unit.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Charlotte FC - projected XI 2022

Predictions

  • Charles Boehm: 14th in East
  • Tom Bogert: 13th in East
  • Matt Doyle: 14th in East
  • David Gass: 14th in East
  • Sam Jones: 14th in East
  • Joe Lowery: 14th in East
  • Greg Seltzer: 14th in East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 14th in East