In light of the recent announcement that Charlotte’s first season will now be pushed back to 2022, Tom Glick was gracious enough to get on a Zoom call with the Mint City Collective this morning to offer a little more insight into that decision and what to expect moving forward.
Below are most of the topics covered on the call.
Austin FC playing in 2021: Austin, having a year-up on us, has everything ready to go, so the league thought it best to go ahead and bring them on in 2021. I have been following them for a while now, and I can say that they seem so far ahead of us in all aspects, so I think this is the right decision.
Sacramento & St. Louis: There have been some significant stadium construction concerns, and the league felt it best to give them more time.
Charlotte MLS 2022: Glick said the decision to move to 2022 is beneficial as it will provide the Team more time to get all of our affairs in order. With this delay, we will now be the only Team coming into the league in 2022. We won’t have to compete with anyone in the NCAA and Expansion Drafts as we would have with Austin next year. It will be all eyes on us in 2022!
Team branding/name announcement: We are still on for 7/22- there could be some more announcements today or tomorrow (presumably more teasing of the name or marking names off)
Coaching hire: This will now be more likely next summer. They do have a short-list of candidates. Glick said that they might lose 1 or 2 by next summer, but he feels that most will still be available and ready.
DP Player Signing: Glick said that they are focused on young players. We could see a player signing this summer, yet it’s more likely to come in January and next summer. Those players once signed, will then go out on loan until we kick-off in 2022.
Sergio Ruiz: Glick said that Sergio had six other clubs interested in him before he signed with us, but those teams couldn’t afford the transfer fee. There are now a dozen interested in him. Ruiz will soon go out on loan, and that Team will pay his wages until we kick-off in 2022. The decision on where he will go will probably be determined around the middle of August.
Eastland Mall/HQ: Other than COVID delaying construction, the Eastland Mall HQ is still a go. The Team will have a temporary HQ until they move into their new space in 2023.
Stadium Renovations: This has also been slowed due to the global pandemic, but what they want to achieve should be ready by 2022. Those changes include; new locker rooms, new supporters section, middle walkout/tunnel club, and brand new, west end-zone suites.
Season tickets: In September, we should see movement on season tickets and the start of seat selection. No, PSL’s was not brought up.
Academy: Glick met with all the families Friday night. They will start training on July 27th. The U-17’s are a big focus and by the time 2022 rolls around, we may even see some of these lads on the 1st Team!
Shared Space with the Panthers: Glick also touched on game day experience and making sure the stadium reflected the MLS Team during game days and said that they are making sure signage and the overall feel of the stadium will reflect the MLS team.