Could Charlotte FC be the next great fan base in MLS?

Published: Feb. 26, 2022 at 1:48 AM EST
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WASHINGTON D.C. (WBTV) - There’s no doubt, soccer fans are some of the most passionate in all of sports.

Internationally, they take fandom to another level, but MLS fans can be just at passionate.

From the “Wonder Wall” chant in Minnesota, to the colorful tifos in Seattle and Portland, to the fired-up fan base of Atlanta United, fans are just as much a part of the match as the players on the pitch in MLS.

“When you go to a soccer game, you are there to experience 2 experiences-- the game you paid to see and what’s happening in the stands,” said Charlotte FC fan Jay Landskroener. “You’re an extension of the team and the team is an extension of you.”

And now it’s time for Charlotte to take center stage, but much like the Charlotte FC expansion team that will take the pitch for the very first time against an established MLS club on Saturday, this fan base will need time before they can resemble some of the best fans bases in the MLS.

“There’s this unique characteristic that a lot of the people that live here aren’t from here, but this is our opportunity to come together,” said Landskroener.

But there is another factor that could take this Charlotte FC fandom to another level.

“There’s a large Latino population in the region, not just in Charlotte,” said Jay. “I think if those fans can tap into the team and feel like they would belong, this team could really bind the community even further.”

Jay is a long-time soccer fan and grew up cheering for DC United, but now Charlotte FC is his team and like most fans who might not have been here when the Carolina Panthers or Charlotte Hornets started, they can now be a part of building something special.

“I think we have an opportunity to prove to the sports world, that we’re not a wine and cheese crowd,” said Jay. “Be passionate, be loyal, be Charlotte.”

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