18-year-old Charlottean becomes the Club’s third player to be promoted from the Academy to sign a professional contract
CHARLOTTE, NC (Friday, March 24, 2023) – Charlotte FC today announced the Club has signed defender Jack Neeley as a Homegrown player through 2026 with an option for 2027.
The center back becomes the Club’s third Homegrown signing following in the footsteps of Brian Romero and Nimfasha Berchimas.
“I’m very excited to get to continue doing what I love to do on a professional level with Charlotte FC,” said Neeley. “I’ve had a love for the game and today is one of the best days of my life. I’m ready to represent the Carolinas on the Major League Soccer stage and wouldn’t want to begin my career anywhere else.”
Neeley, who turned 18 earlier this year, joined the Charlotte FC First Team for preseason in 2023 and made his unofficial debut in the Club’s friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“We’re excited to welcome Jack as the third Homegrown signing in Charlotte FC history. 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,” said Sporting Director Zoran Krneta. “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 where he was coached by current CLTFC Academy coach Patrick Daka.
“Jack’s journey to earning a professional deal is a testament to his commitment to pursuing his dream and we’re extremely happy for Jack and his family. 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,” said CLTFC Executive Academy Director Bryan Scales. “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.”
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 Brian Romero (CSA) and Nimfasha Berchimas (NC Fusion).
The “Carolina Homegrown Commitment” rewards clubs who play a significant part in the development of a Charlotte FC Homegrown player. In order 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.
Transaction: Defender Jack Neeley signs first profession contract as a Homegrown player through 2026 with an option for 2027.
Name: Jack Neeley
Weight: 170 lbs
Date of Birth: March 11, 2005
Birthplace: Loxahatchee, Florida
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Last Club: Charlotte FC Academy
How Acquired: Homegrown Signing