Rebuilding at Charlotte FC
Is it time to talk rebuilding after a losing streak?
Things aren’t looking great for Charlotte FC’s playoff hopes, and the consequences may lead to a totally different team next year as I address in my most recent column for Queen City Nerve:
Charlotte announced two major contract signings last week: a new contract for versatile forward Andre Shinyashiki, who has seen his minutes decrease in the final third of the season; and a contract extension for Brandt Bronico, seen as one of the hardest-working players on the team and a strong defensive midfielder in a club with decreasing defensive options. Both players’ contracts run through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026.
However, no contract is a guarantee. When I spoke with Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta after Saturday’s loss, he made it clear the team is keeping all its options open during the postseason to turn the team into a winning one. He also confirmed to me that none of the players on the team have a “no-trade clause” in their contract, which would both prevent them from being traded and automatically protect them from other teams in expansion drafts.
However, the rest of MLS is keeping Charlotte’s chances alive. Charlotte took a break last night while many other teams played. DC United, which is eliminated from the playoffs, beat a fading NYC FC team. Toronto tied, Inter Miami lost (albeit to Columbus), Atlanta lost, and New England and Chicago tied. Charlotte goes into this weekend one win away from 8th place, and only 4 points (a win and a draw) out of playoff contention. So there’s still a chance!
But also, I think it’s important to note that even if Charlotte doesn’t make the playoffs, the season has been an amazing success for the club and for soccer. Charlotte is building a culture, they’re second in the league in attendance, they have a permanent training and HQ solution, and they’ve exceeded expectations for an expansion team.
MLS Monday & World Wednesday
MLS Monday and World Wednesday will return next week as we work on an exclusive for tomorrow’s Soccer Sheet and a major Spieltag Saturday. The last two undefeated, 3-win teams in La Liga, Real Madrid and Real Betis, meet on Saturday at 10:15 AM EDT. The last two undefeated 3-win teams in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich and Union Berlin, meet Saturday at 9:30 AM EDT. Both matches will be ones to watch, especially with Union Berlin playing at home.
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