TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Charlotte FC have signed homegrown defender Jack Neeley through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027, the club announced Friday.
The 18-year-old center back becomes Charlotte’s third homegrown signing, following in the footsteps of attackers Brian Romero and Nimfasha Berchimas.
“He’s a player we’re delighted to promote to the professional level and he’s eager to continue developing under the leadership of our technical staff,” sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a release. “In his first two games this preseason, he was tasked with facing Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer in Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and then Christian Benteke, who has scored more than 100 goals across the Premier League and on the international level with Belgium.
“Those performances undoubtedly showed us he deserved to be part of our squad and we look forward to working with him to mold him into the player we know he can be in the future.”
Neeley joined the Charlotte FC Academy in 2020 as part of the inaugural class of players after spending most of his youth career at Charlotte Soccer Academy.
As part of Charlotte FC’s “Carolina Homegrown Commitment,” the club will gift $10,000 to Charlotte Soccer Academy. Previous gifts to local clubs include the signing of Romero (CSA) and Berchimas (NC Fusion). To be eligible to receive a donation, the club must be in the Carolinas and the player must have been registered with the club for a minimum of 12 months between the ages of 12-15 immediately prior to joining the Charlotte FC Academy.
“As an Academy, we strive to develop the next generation of soccer players throughout the Carolinas, and to promote three players to the first team in less than 12 months is an accomplishment we can all be proud of,” Charlotte executive academy director Bryan Scales said in a release.
“We continue to be very appreciative of the cooperation with clubs throughout our homegrown territory and thank Charlotte Soccer Academy for their role in Jack’s development.”
Charlotte FC, now in their second MLS season, await their first Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. Bill Tuiloma and Adilson Malanda are first-choice center backs under head coach Christian Lattanzio, while Guzmán Corujo is recovering from an ACL surgery he underwent in early August 2022.
With Charlotte launching Crown Legacy FC in MLS NEXT Pro, players like Neeley have more professional tests to be ready for the first-team level.
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