Charlotte FC Coach Dean Smith Confirms Expected Jóźwiak Departure
Polish Winger Kamil Jóźwiak and his agent are looking for a new club; Jóźwiak had been absent at Charlotte FC preseason training in Miami.
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Charlotte FC will change up at least one of its designated players in 2024.
In response to a question from Soccer Sheet at a Wednesday press conference, Smith said he is “looking for a different profile of player” at Kamil Jóźwiak’s position. Smith spoke to reporters from Charlotte' FC’s preseason training in Miami.
Smith went on to say he had spoken with the Polish winger, and that Jóźwiak and his agent are looking for a new club. Jóźwiak had been conspicuously absent from team activities, and Smith confirmed the player did not make the trip with the club.
As for designated players Karol Świderski and Enzo Copetti, Smith expects them to compete for a place on the squad.
“They are not DPs I chose, so they have to prove to me that they are valuable to me and can play at the highest level,” said Smith. "So far I've seen they have the willingness to do that."
Smith also said Świderski would be out for a couple days with a hip problem.
Jóźwiak Decision a Reversal from Lattanzio Era
Smith’s decision to part ways with Jóźwiak signals yet another departure from the Lattanzio era. Former head coach Christian Lattanzio was one of the Polish winger’s biggest defenders and supporters, and lauded his quality of play as Jóźwiak received criticism for his low scoring numbers.
Jóźwiak joined the Crown as a designated player in the spring of 2022 after the club’s season had begun, watching the team’s inaugural home match against LA Galaxy from the stands as the details of his transfer were negotiated. However, in his first year in the U.S. he struggled to live up to the expectations of the DP tag.
After a disappointing 2022 season with the club, Jóźwiak improved in 2023 to score his first goals with the club in both league and cup play. Ironically, he scored his first-ever goal on April Fool’s Day. He had a stellar run in Charlotte’s 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup matches, scoring two goals including the game-winner against Orlando City. He had an assist during the Leagues Cup, but did not score any goals or penalties.
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His goal in Toronto on April 1 led to his sole appearance on the MLS Team of the Matchday. Two weeks later he would score the go-ahead goal against Colorado, but Charlotte conceded the equalizer in extra time. It would be his last MLS goal for Charlotte.
As the season went on, other options on the wing became more consistent goal scorers, including faster players like Kerwin Vargas. Smith has stated his desire for speed on the wings, likely a factor in the coach’s decision to move on from Jóźwiak as well as the expected departure of veteran winger Justin Meram, who is out of contract.
Perhaps where Jóźwiak will be missed most is as a friend and companion for star striker Karol Świderski. When Jóźwiak joined the club in the spring of 2022, he became the third Polish player on the team after Jan Sobociński and Świderski. With Sobociński’s departure after the 2023 season, Świderski is now the lone Polish player for the club.
Ultimately, Jóźwiak will end his Charlotte career with 2 goals and 10 assists in 44 MLS appearances.