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Welcome to Next Up, where we keep you posted on everything going on around the Charlotte FC Academy. Lately, It's been a busy but exciting time for the Academy as the new season is underway and historic milestones are being hit.

First-Ever Homegrown Player

The Academy reached a major milestone last week when they signed 16-year-old Concord, North Carolina native, Brian Romero, as their first-ever homegrown player. Homegrown players are local players that are signed from their own development academies directly to MLS first team rosters. Romero has been with the Academy since its inception in 2020 and become a key figure for his Club in addition to the United States Under-17s Men's Youth National Team.

Two weeks before the Homegrown announcement, Romero had already won the hearts of CLTFC fans when he made his first team debut in a friendly against Chelsea FC. Just seconds after he was substituted into the match, Romero won a penalty which drew the game level and eventually led to CLTFC winning the match in a penalty shootout – 14 days later Romero was signing a Homegrown contract.

The signing of the first-ever Homegrown player is a historic moment for the Club and the region as a whole. However, the most exciting part? It's just the beginning.

“I do think that it sends a message across the region that that next 13, 14, 15-year-old kid out there, that knows Brian Romero, has seen him play, may have played against him in a league... that the opportunity to follow and reach your dreams is there,” said Executive Academy Director Bryan Scales. “For our academy, this is a big moment.”

Romero was selected as an MLS NEXT All-Star for his performances in the 2021-2022 season.

Related Article: Brian Romero: Homegrown

International Training Experience

Academy winger, Nimfasha Berchimas, got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was invited by German Giant, Bayern Munich, for a training experience with their academy from July 9 - 18. Berchimas was also recently a part of U.S. U-15 National Team that participated n the Torneo Delle Nazioni tournament where they played against Slovenia, Belgium, and Italy.

It's not every day that you can train with one of the world's biggest clubs and Berchimas earned it off his performances for the Academy and the U.S. Youth National Team. Experiences like these are invaluable opportunities that help further a young player's development both on and off the pitch.

Preparations for 2022-2023 MLS Next Season Begin

After a much needed break, the Academy began preparations for the start of the 2022-2023 MLS NEXT season with orientation through the weekend of July 28 - 31. It involved meetings between coaches, parents, and players to lay the foundation for the season ahead as well as some training sessions. The MLS NEXT schedule will likely be released this week.

Below are the full rosters and staff for the Academy:

Academy Coaches and Rosters

U-17

Head Coach: Alex Martinez

Assistant Coach: Matt Ford

Goalkeeper Coach: Michael Gorszczaryk

Performance Coach: Jamie Blair

Berchimas, Nimfasha

Ulloa Bravo, Aaron (North Carolina Fusion)

John, Aron (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Barros, Lucca

Bedolla, Brando

Bhutia, Alex Lhadup (North Carolina Fusion)

Carmona Romero, Brian

Dissinger, Cooper

Duncan, Samuel

Faticoni, Trey

Gooding, Benjamin

Marin, Lorenzo

Miller, Aryeh

Molina, David

Nyandjo, James

Pena, Anthony

Powell, Derek

Quintanilla, Jayson

Renteria, Adrian

Sery, Sam

Smith, Jackson

Tonidandel, Simon

Tremaglio, Michael

U-15

Head Coach: Jorge Herrera

Assistant Coach: Matt Ford

Goalkeeper Coach: Michael Gorszczaryk

Performance Coach: Jamie Blair

Alepa, Landon

Andrews, Ethan

Arango, Matthew (Charlotte Independence)

Camacho, Jaydus

Cruz Segura, Jason

Curtis, Ethan

Fotinos, Panagiotis "Pete"

Gritz, Nicholas

Harper, Holden “Wyatt”

Jenkins, Brandon (North Carolina Football Club)

Lynch, Landon

McKinnon, Cassias

Morris, Malcolm

Orozco Lopez, Danny (North Carolina Football Club)

Pereda, Samuel

Rice, Braylen

Schumacher, Brady

Starkey, Caleb

U-14

Head Coach: Dominic Oduro

Assistant Coach: Patrick Daka

Goalkeeper Coach: Evan Harvey

Performance Coach: Jamie Blair

Aguilera, Emmanuel (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Beveridge, Tyler (Carolina Elite Soccer Club)

Bibiano, Erickson (North Carolina Rush)

Bistrain, Andre (Charlotte Independence)

Greene, Rylon (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Jaimes, Franco (North Carolina Fusion)

Lynds, Sean (FC Barca Charlotte)

Mandiveyi, Tatenda (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Marlovits, Sean (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Mathis, Braden (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Moua, Logan (Catawba Valley Soccer Association)

Munoz, Jeremiah (Charlotte Independence)

Powers, Zachary (Charlotte Eagles)

Rojas, Yoell (Charlotte Soccer Academy)

Smith, Gavin (North Carolina Fusion)

Discovery Program

Director of Discovery Program - Patrick Daka

U-13 Head Coach - Patrick Daka

U-12 Head Coach - Marco Diaz

DP Goalkeeper Coach - Ethan Harvey

Academy Staff

Executive Director - Bryan Scales

Head of Recruitment - Jason Osborne

  • Academy Scout - Marco Diaz

Head Athletic Trainer - Scott Morrison

  • Academy Athletic Trainer - Alex Nucerino

Head of Player + Academic Welfare - Sara Smith

Academy Administrator - Trevor Weimar

Up Next

  • Wilmington Friendlies: All Academy teams will be traveling to Wilmington, NC for some friendly matches