Former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has been appointed head coach of Major League Soccer side Charlotte FC.
The team kits for their debut season in 2022 have not yet been unveiled, but Ally Financial was announced in 2019 as a multi-year kit sponsor.
In January 2020, the team hired Marc Nicholls as the club's technical director to run the youth academy system. Nicholls was the manager of the USL PDL side Carolina Dynamo (now NC Fusion U-23) from 2011 to 2015 and most recently the director of player development for the Seattle Sounders. Nicholls has twice been named the US Soccer Academy Coach of the Year.
The history of soccer in Charlotte
Charlotte join MLS
When Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers in the summer of 2018, he expressed an interest in bringing an MLS team to Charlotte. The Panthers' new president, Tom Glick, had been the COO at Manchester City in England and had been involved in New York City FC's successful expansion bid in 2015. Glick took over the MLS bid for Tepper and league executives toured the Bank of America Stadium in July 2019. The City Council approved $110million in stadium and franchise funding in November 2019 and the team was officially announced on December 17, 2019.
Charlotte FC's first players
On December 18, 2020, CLTFC signed midfielder Brandt Bronico as a free agent. Bronico was selected 47th overall in the 2017 SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire after playing collegiately at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Bronico was the Conference USA Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner in 2016 in Charlotte. He played 66 MLS games with the Chicago Fire, starting 40 times. In those contests, he scored twice and added six assists. While in college, Bronico played for Nicholls for the Carolina Dynamo and had experience with the Seattle Sounders U-23 team in 2015.
Bank of America Stadium
The Liverpool vs AC Milan game in 2014 drew 69,364 fans, a record for soccer at the stadium. Other teams to play at BOA include Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. The US women's national team beat South Korea 2-0 in a friendly that drew 30,071 fans on October 3, 2019, at BOA Stadium too.
Charlotte FC's rivals
Since they are still a year away from taking to the field, Charlotte FC don't have any real rivals yet. However, they are widely expected to form rivalries with relatively new MLS sides Atlanta United and Nashville SC.