MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Official: Charlotte FC sign striker Karol Swiderski as first Designated Player


UPDATE (Jan. 26) – Charlotte FC have signed their first-ever Designated Player, acquiring Polish international striker Karol Świderski from Greek side PAOK through the 2025 season with an option for 2026.

The 25-year-old joins the expansion club after netting 35 goals and 14 assists across 135 appearances with PAOK. He’s also scored six goals across 14 games for Poland, playing a key role in World Cup Qualifiers and European Championship competition.

“We’re delighted to welcome a player of Karol’s caliber to Charlotte FC to spearhead our attack. He’s proven to be a lethal goal scorer at both the club and international level, and to secure his signing as our first Designated Player is an excellent achievement for our club,” sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a release.

“Karol’s profile as a striker is everything we need in a number nine and he is a player who is entering the prime of his career. His performances for Poland on the international stage speak for themselves and we’re confident Karol will be one of the toughest strikers to defend in the league. Additionally, he has a high work ethic, a title-winning mentality, and will bring excellent leadership and character into the locker room.”

As Charlotte approach their inaugural match Feb. 26 at D.C. United, Swiderski is expected to play a key role alongside fellow attackers like winger Cristian Ortiz and forward Vinicius Mello.

Swiderski is Charlotte's second Polish player after they signed defender Jan Sobocinski nearly a year ago.

ORIGINAL (Jan. 24) – Charlotte FC are finalizing the signing of Poland international forward Karol Swiderski from Greek top-flight club PAOK, sources tell The deal will be worth around $5 million and Swiderski will sign as a Designated Player.

A source can confirm a report from ESPN's Taylor Twellman that Swiderski is currently in Charlotte finishing the move.

Swiderski, who turned 25 this week, has four goals and an assist in 16 appearances (eight starts) with PAOK this season. He has 35 goals and 14 assists in 134 appearances with the club after beginning his career with Jagiellonia Bialystok in Poland.

The center forward has six goals in 14 appearances with the Polish national team, making his debut just under a year ago.

Swiderski would be the latest key attacking addition for Charlotte, who built out their midfield and defensive spine before landing attacking talent. He is likely their first DP, though midfielder Jordy Alcivar may be classified as a Young DP depending on where CLTFC's squad sits at roster compliance just before opening weekend.

Brazilian forward Vinicius Mello (U22 Initiative) is another natural option at center forward, while Cristian Ortiz, McKinzie Gaines and Yordy Reyna make up current options on the wing.

Swiderski plays on Poland's national team with New England Revolution striker Adam Buksa, while Patryk Klimala (New York Red Bulls), Kacper Przybyłko (Chicago Fire FC) and Jarosław Niezgoda (Portland Timbers) are all former Polish youth international No. 9s now in MLS.