MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Karol Swiderski "absolutely untouchable": Charlotte FC sporting director amid rumors

Karol Swiderski

As long as sporting director Zoran Krneta has his way, Karol Swiderski is staying with Charlotte FC for the foreseeable future.

Swiderski, who was acquired as a Designated Player from Greek club PAOK FC this past January, is in a great run of form with two goals and two assists over his last three games, leading the expansion club back into the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs race.

The 25-year-old Poland international has been subject to rumors about his future being back in Europe as soon as this winter.

“Right now, Karol Swiderski is absolutely untouchable. That’s not even a discussion," Krneta told The Mac Attack on WFNZ Radio in Charlotte on Tuesday.

"There are rumors going around, but that’s part of the soccer world. Karol is our captain, he’s doing great for us, we love him. I think he’s enjoying life in Charlotte and playing in MLS. Until this changes, he’ll be our player.”

Swiderski's impact

Swiderski's agent told PSN Futbol there's "no lack of offers" for the player, who started alongside FC Barcelona superstar Robert Lewandowski on international duty last month, scoring the lone goal in Poland's 1-0 win over Wales. Swiderski is likely to go to the World Cup in November. Charlotte teammate Kamil Jozwiak has been a regular with the national team as well, but wasn't called into the latest squad.

In his debut MLS season, Swiderski has 10 goals and six assists in 29 appearances. Compatriot Adam Buksa, another Poland international striker who came to MLS, had 6g/2a in 23 appearances during his first MLS season, before exploding production-wise in 2021 and eventually earning a transfer to French club RC Lens this summer from the New England Revolution.

Charlotte view Swiderski as a building block for the future after acquiring him for around $5 million last winter. He has been integral to the playoff chase and, under interim head coach Christian Lattanzio, has shouldered even more of the attacking burden by picking up some creative duties as well, showing he's more than just a traditional center forward.

Swiderski Lattanzio
Christian Lattanzio congratulates Karol Swiderski after he scores vs. Nashville SC. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Lattanzio for full-time role?

Krneta also addressed reports that Lattanzio will soon be named Charlotte's permanent manager. Lattanzio took over in late May after Miguel Angel Ramirez, The Crown's first-ever head coach, was let go 14 games into their inaugural season.

“He’s a very experienced coach, a coach in foreign countries," Krneta said. "He won the Premier League as an assistant with Man City and had experience in MLS with NYCFC, which was probably the missing link for us.

" … I haven’t seen any reports, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said with a laugh. “But I’ll tell you something, we’re not going to talk about any contracts until the season ends.”

The club will have plenty of flexibility this winter to continue building the squad after an encouraging debut season. Charlotte can add at least one DP as well as another U22 Initiative player. The club valued flexibility throughout their initial build and didn't make a blockbuster trade using allocation money, so Charlotte should have further room for change as they see fit.