CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Having a professional soccer team come to Charlotte means so much to some younger players following their dreams to become pro.
Two things can happen for soccer clubs now. Either the professional team will take over one of the clubs here to have a direct feed of athletes, or the team will decide to start fresh and build its own club. Whatever happens, many soccer fans say they’ll support it because they’re just glad to finally be getting a pro team.
“Yes, we got this, we finally got this,” said Kyle Lunski, a 16-year-old who plays for Charlotte Soccer Academy.
“We just saw it on Instagram. Me and all my friends went crazy,” David Blair, who’s 15, also on the team.
The young players who eat, sleep and breathe soccer will soon be able to watch the pros play in person right here at home.
For the guys and girls, it’s not just about the entertainment aspect of having an MLS team come here. This is the Charlotte Soccer Academy, one of the top clubs in the area. It’s about becoming a true student of the game.
“People like us can go watch, study them, and see how they play,” said Lunski.
A lot of the players want to go pro.
“That’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Lunski admitted.
Now, the chance seems to be knocking at their front door. Players, parents and coaches believe MLS scouts won’t have to look far to fill the roster – they believe the Queen City is a breeding ground for talent.
“We can have our players stay homegrown. It’s just a benefit for everybody” said Mark Thorton, the Director of Operations for the club.
“You never know who’s watching so just putting in that little grind,” said Blair.
The lineup for Charlotte’s professional sports includes football, basketball, NASCAR, and baseball. Now soccer fans say it’s their time to shine since they’ve been feeling left out of the ring for this long.
“Yeah definitely neglected, I guess,” said Skylar Mawlak, a player on the girls’ team.
“We’ve been waiting for this to happen in the Charlotte area for a really long time," said Lunski.
In the past, some teenagers have had to move to another state, away from family, for a shot at becoming pro. Having an MLS team here means these athletes could continue to do what they love right here at home.