Jere Uronen: The Key Addition Elevating Charlotte FC's Defense


After an extensive search, Charlotte FC's pursuit of a left back culminated in the acquisition of Jere Uronen, a highly regarded defender from Finland with a diverse professional background spanning Sweden, Belgium, France, and Germany.

Time was of the essence as the transfer window neared its close. Beyond the initial efforts led by Sporting Director Zoran Krneta and the entire Technical Department, individuals like Ashley Westwood and even Brecht Dejaegere, who had previously encountered Uronen in France, took extra steps to personally connect with the Finnish player and convey the Club's vision for the project.

It became evident that the Club's search for the specific left back profile required a player either in their prime or on the brink of it. At 29 years old, Uronen perfectly matched the desired criteria, offering not only his experience but also a wealth of play at the highest competitive level.

The Profile

The role of a fullback can differ across a wide spectrum of responsibilities and playing styles. Traditional fullbacks lean towards a more defensive stance and conservative offensive involvement. On the other end, some fullbacks display an attacking prowess emulating wingers. Modern tactics have also seen fullbacks adopt an inverted approach, resembling midfielders. Head Coach Christian Lattanzio has his own specialized way of using fullbacks, and when presented Uronen, it was immediately clear that he had the toolset the Italian was seeking.

“Christian’s playing style requires his players and especially defenders to have very specific strengths and characteristics,” said CLTFC Director of Scouting Thomas Schaling. “One of our focuses this transfer window was on putting forward options at left back that would exclusively fit those characteristics and would undoubtedly and immediately strengthen our starting lineup. Jere is a player that our scouting team knows very well from both the recent and more distant past. Once we put him forward to Christian [Lattanzio], we were able to quickly agree on his fit from a player profile perspective.”


For Head Coach Christian Lattanzio's system, defensive prowess tops the list of requirements for fullbacks. Given the team's preferred attacking style, these players often find themselves isolated during transitions, necessitating strong one-on-one defending skills. Their physical attributes are equally crucial, aiding not only in rapid recovery during transitions but also in meeting the role's demanding physical challenges.

"Jere reads the game exceptionally well, and that reflects in data - and video analysis. His defensive numbers at Ligue 1 and Bundesliga level are impressive, and we believe that is translatable to MLS. His disciplined, and highly effective approach to defending makes him an ideal fit for our game model." - Charlotte FC Analytics Department

Ball-playing skills are equally significant. Many fullbacks are used to traditionally standing on the sideline, able to face forward and see the entire field. Lattanzio's approach, though, makes the fullback role more intricate by requiring them to be pinched inside and play in tight spaces much more often, along with being able to deliver accurate crosses from wide areas. This narrows down the pool of eligible candidates, and Uronen stands out due to his proficiency in all these areas, making him an upgrade in the position for CLTFC.

"Advanced on-ball action value metrics show that Jere’s passing, carries, and take-ons consistently increase the likelihood of his team scoring during the team’s possession sequence.” - Charlotte FC Analytics Department.

Beyond his on-field attributes, Uronen's intangible qualities align with the club's objective of recruiting players with strong mentalities and experience at the highest echelons of the game. Boasting over 300 professional appearances, including participation in prestigious competitions like the Champions League and Europa League, Uronen ticks the experience box. Moreover, his fluency in English provides an advantage for swift adaptation not just within the team but also to the country as a whole.

“Our initial assessment always looks at the technical and data assessment of the player," described Schaling. "After both of those came up positive, we started carefully checking feedback on Jere as a human being. We then went on to have a series of conversations with him which we felt backed up our earlier findings. There was an instant click with the technical leadership of our club and Jere, who is an experienced and serious professional. We are confident that he will bring a positive attitude to our locker room and will lead by example.”


The summer signings were strategically aimed at instant contribution, minimizing the barriers during the adaptation process. Uronen fits seamlessly into this vision. Charlotte FC can now depend on a player in the prime of his career, filling a critical position of need as they enter the latter stages of the MLS season.

“As anyone that works on player recruitment in soccer will confirm, there is scarcity in the market of left backs among teams of all levels," said Schaling. "Having now signed Jere in his prime, we are confident that we have filled this position with a quality player for years to come.”