Transfer Tracker

Charlotte FC sign Brazilian forward Vinicius Mello to U22 Initiative deal



Charlotte FC have acquired Brazilian forward Vinicius Mello from Internacional, the expansion club announced Monday. Mello will join as a U22 Initiative player, signing through 2025 with a club option for 2026.

The 19-year-old made 13 appearances for Internacional after earning his senior debut this year, featuring in the league and Copa Libertadores. He worked under Charlotte head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez at Internacional as well, plus scored 15 goals and added five assists in 35 appearances for the club's U-20 team.

“We’re excited to bring in a player of Vinicius’ potential to Charlotte FC," sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a club statement. "He’s been a proven goal scorer in the youth ranks at Internacional, but is still very new to senior football despite already playing in the Brazilian top-flight and Copa Libertadores.

"We’re eager to get him to Charlotte to continue his development as a footballer because he possesses all the qualities we are looking for in a center forward. He is very good with his back to goal, he likes to get teammates involved with combination play in the buildup, and he is an intelligent mover off the ball. This is a strategic and calculated signing because we have a head coach who knows him well, trained him and believes in him as a footballer.”

After adding defender Jaylin Lindsey and goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega during MLS' half-day trade window on Sunday, Mello is Charlotte's 11th player on their inaugural roster. That number will continue to grow this week, with the Expansion Draft set for Tuesday and then free agency kicking off Wednesday.

Mello is Charlotte's third player from South America, following midfielder Jordy Alvicar and defender Guzman Corujo. Players will report for preseason in January ahead of their inaugural MLS campaign (2022).