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Charlotte FC sign Chituru Odunze, João Pedro from Crown Legacy

Chituru Odunze - Joao Pedro - Charlotte FC signings


Charlotte FC have signed goalkeeper Chituru Odunze and defender João Pedro from their MLS NEXT Pro side, Crown Legacy FC, the club announced Thursday.

Odunze is under contract through the 2027 MLS season with an option for 2028. Meanwhile, Pedro is guaranteed through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027 after Charlotte exercised the purchase option on his loan agreement from Brazilian side Atletico Paranaense.

“Chituru is a talented prospect that we were delighted to bring into our system with Crown Legacy FC last season,” Charlotte sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a release. “Since arriving in Charlotte, Chituru has demonstrated that he is a special talent with the intangibles to excel in Major League Soccer. We are delighted to watch him take the next step in his career and join our first team on a full-time basis in 2024 and beyond.”

Krneta added about Pedro: “João impressed us throughout his season with Crown Legacy FC and his ability to defend in multiple positions while also being an attacking threat makes JP a unique talent and highly-touted prospect. We are excited to continue investing in his development as he adds depth to our defensive core.”

Odunze, 21, posted one clean sheet in three Crown Legacy matches last season. Beforehand, the US youth international spent time with Leicester City in England and was in both the Chelsea FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC academies.

Pedro, 20, earned MLS NEXT Pro Best XI honors in 2023 after tallying 2g/3a in 27 matches. The center back/left back has represented Brazil’s youth international teams and rose through the Atletico Paranaense academy.

Heading into 2024, Charlotte are now led by head coach Dean Smith. Their new campaign starts on Feb. 24 against New York City FC (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).