In the buildup to Charlotte FC’s inaugural season, members of the inaugural roster are earning valuable game time with other clubs around the world. Here is the latest instalment of our monthly check-in with their progress…
Adam Armour (Charlotte Independence)
There’s no shortage of game time for Armour during his loan spell with the Charlotte Independence: the eighteen-year-old defender featured in all five of the USL side’s matches in August, appearing for 90 minutes in three of them.
Armour also showed his credentials in the attacking third in August, setting up two goals in separate games for forward Enzo Martinez (brother of CLTFC Academy Coach Alex Martinez).
[EMBED HIGHLIGHTS #CLTVMIA | 9-4-2021 VIDEO HERE]
Armour’s low cross for Martinez put the Independence ahead in their dramatic 3-2 win at New York Red Bulls II, while his run inside and sublime through-ball set up the second goal in the 2-2 draw with Miami FC.
Brandt Bronico (Charlotte Independence)
Bronico has become a key part of the Independence’s midfield, playing 90 minutes in every match of the 2021 campaign. The 26-year-old central midfielder earned his first assist for his loan team in the aforementioned 3-2 win in New York.
[EMBED HIGHLIGHTS #NYVCLT | 8-10-2021 VIDEO HERE]
Bronico’s neat takedown and pass to Sylvain Marveaux set up the 61-minute winner. The secondary assist for that goal, incidentally, came from his CLTFC teammate Armour.
“Building chemistry with Adam and Christian [Fuchs] has been great,” says Bronico. “I think it’s a real advantage to be able to get to know guys and play with them before our inaugural season comes in 2022.”
Christian Fuchs (Charlotte Independence)
Premier League champion Fuchs made his U.S. domestic debut in August in the Independence’s 3-2 win in New York. Playing in the middle of a back three, the former Austrian national team captain made 15 recoveries, made five clearances and won four duels (per FotMob).
Fuchs started every match in August, predominantly playing on the left of a back three.
“I’m really enjoying my time so far in Charlotte, and getting to know the people that are working for the club, and our fans,” says Fuchs. “It’s an interesting and enthusiastic soccer culture here, which promises a lot for the future.”
“I have been welcomed nicely by my teammates at the Independence and we are trying our best to achieve a playoff spot. It’s been a constant learning curve for us through August, in terms of getting to know each other and evolving our game.
“I am also happy with my record of only one lost game in six, even though we could have put more points on the board. But it is still a positive development, and with the games we have in hand, we can achieve our goal.”
Jan Sobocinski (LKS Lodz)
It’s been a strong start to the 2021-22 Polish second division season for Sobocinski, who featured in all three of LKS Lodz’s matches in August. After contributing to a clean sheet in the 2-2 draw with Korona Kielce, the center-back headed home the opener in the 3-0 victory over Stomil Olsztyn:
[EMBED "STOMIL OLSZTYN - LKS LODZ 0:3 | SKROT" VIDEO HERE]
Lodz go into the second month of the season in fifth position, putting them among the playoff places at this early stage.
Riley McGree (Birmingham City)
It’s been a busy month for midfielder McGree, who returned from Australia’s Olympic campaign to feature in three of Birmingham City’s matches in August.
The Australian started in central midfield in a League Cup encounter with Fulham, in which he enjoyed 80% pass success and won five duels (per FotMob).
McGree was also called up by the senior Australian National Team in the international break, which included minutes in the Socceroos’ 3-0 World Cup Qualifier victory over China in Doha and a start in the 1-0 win against Vietnam in Hanoi.
Sergio Ruiz (Las Palmas)
Spanish central midfielder Ruiz played a crucial part in Las Palmas’ campaign last season—a trend that has continued in 2021-22.
The 26-year-old has played every minute for the Spanish second division side this season, including a standout performance in the opener against Real Valladolid, in which he completed 47 accurate passes (90%) and had a shot on target.
“The start of the season has been very good,” says Ruiz. “We have a young and committed team. I personally feel good and am playing many minutes, although after overcoming COVID, I am not physically at my best level.”
Charlotte FC welcomed its seventh member of the inaugural squad on August 30, when Guzman Corujo joined from Uruguayan top flight side Nacional.
The 25-year-old center-back played three matches for Nacional in August, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Liverpool (the Uruguayan namesake of the Premier League team).
[INSERT GUZMAN CORUJO VIDEO HERE]
“Guzmán is a well-rounded center-back that brings a physical style to his defending and is excellent in winning aerial duels,” says Charlotte FC Sporting Director Zoran Krneta. “He complements the defenders we currently have on our roster and is an excellent addition to the spine of our team as we continue to build towards 2022.”