Jason Osborne is originally from Leicester City, England but has spent most of his adult life in the United States. And it was unsurprisingly soccer that brought him to the States.
After playing for Derby County’s academy from 15 to 18 years old, he decided to cross the Atlantic to get an education while continuing to play the sport he loved in the American collegiate soccer system.
It was the desire to pursue a master’s degree while staying in the States that brought Osborne to the Tarheel State. While getting his master’s at Gardner-Webb University he contracted what he called the “coaching bug.”
He became the assistant coach at Gardner-Webb and soon afterwards began working in the youth soccer system in Charlotte. It eventually led to an assistant coaching position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012.
Osborne has been an integral part of UNCC’s rise as a powerhouse in men’s collegiate soccer. In just the past five years, UNCC’s program earned 57 wins, 4 NCAA Tournament appearances, 6 MLS draft picks, and 25 All-Conference USA selections.
Part of his success has come from Osborne’s ability to connect with the people around him.
“I’m very much a people person, I want to connect, I don’t like being on my own. I like being around people, I like to talk to people, bit of a chatterbox.
“I want to find out what people are thinking, why they think what they think. Connect a lot of people together. I want to be in the community, talking to the OCs, the clubs, and have a really good connection across the Carolinas.”
Osborne is no stranger to the soccer scene in the Carolinas. It’s because of his expertise of the region that he was brought on to be the Head of Academy Recruitment at Charlotte FC.
“Jason’s experience evaluating, identifying and recruiting the top young players across the region will be invaluable, said Academy Director Bryan Scales. “He’ll be leading our Talent ID department as we look to build out a high-level scouting network that blankets the Carolinas and beyond.”
As Osborne’s job title suggests, he’ll be looking to identify young talent to bring to Charlotte FC, but the job entails more than just that.
“The primary part of the role is to identify talent in the Carolinas. To find the best players that fit Charlotte FC’s philosophy and style of play to bring them to club. That’s just scratching the surface of it.
“Below all that, is creating connection with clubs. Best practices, being really close with the academy coach, and the u23 coach and staff that is coming in. Find the top players and understand what coaches want.”
It was going to take something special to pull Osborne away from UNCC. A place that he’s very fond of and had nothing but praise for. That special something is what he found at Charlotte FC.
“I was there for that opening night, it was goosebumps, it was fascinating just to watch and see the buzz around the city. It was infectious, you couldn’t help wanting to be a part of it.
“This is just an incredible opportunity, just a great project to build something new. To be a part of something like that. And the guys in the office and the academy have all been very welcoming.”
“It’s the chance to build something and be a part of something. Being around the best players in the Carolinas. It’s such a hotbed for youth soccer. We really are fortunate enough to be in this area.”
“I think it [Charlotte FC Academy] can become a nationally recognized program. You look at some of the best academies in the country, and the way they are run. FC Dallas and Seattle, are some of the top academies in the country that we are going to strive to become and compete with.