CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - We now know the Charlotte MLS team will be known as Charlotte FC and that is just the next step as the team gets ready for play in 2022.
What today’s unveiling of a new name and crest did was bring back that buzz to Charlotte and the team is already seeing the benefits.
“We have hundreds of new deposits since we got out of bed this morning,” said Charlotte FC president Tom Glick. “We’ve run out of scarves. People want the ‘let’s party’ t-shirt that David Tepper was wearing. We are in demand so we’re going to continue to fuel that.”
One of the best ways to keep that buzz going when the team starts play is winning right away and winning right away is the goal.
Charlotte FC was suppose to start play in 2021, but the pandemic has pushed that start date back to 2022. That’s not a bad thing for this club.
“We are going to be more prepare with this little delay than we would have ever been,” said Charlotte FC owner David Tepper. “I think we are going to have a lot more time to make sure we have a better team from the get go.”
They have already signed their first ever player in Spanish midfielder Sergio Ruiz, but what about the team’s first ever manager? Once again, they have more time to find the best one they can. But don’t expect an announcement on who that will be any time soon even though, they do have a list of well qualified managers already in mind.
“It is most likely that we will wait until next summer,” said Glick. “The reason for that is that each of these managers would like to be coaching during the ’21 season rather than taking a year off.”
The team also has more time to finish up work at Bank of America Stadium as they get it soccer ready. Some of the new editions include new locker rooms, a center tunnel, a tunnel club, supporters section on the east end of the stadium, supporters club on the concourse, and television gantries.
“We have plenty of time now in the next 19 months to get it done,” said Glick. “And we are going to tweak some designs. We have some new ideas that I think that are better than the original ideas and now that we are not in an urgent situation, we have time to refine a little bit.”
19 months may seem like a long time but it will be here in the blink of an eye and a lot of work still needs to be done. The big question now is how does the soccer club continue to ride the momentum created with today’s name unveiling?
“We’re going to continue to sign players,” said Glick. “This is about putting together an exciting team that represents our city and region well and wins. That’s possible in Major League Soccer as an expansion team to be good from the beginning. You’ve seen it with LAFC. You saw it with Atlanta. They provided a great road map for this. As we continue to sign players, as those players go on loan, we can follow them and how they are playing and progressing. This will keep reminding people about the team we are assembling.”