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Charlotte MLS Still Lacks A Name, But Signs Its First Player

Charlotte MLS

Charlotte's Major League Soccer team doesn't have a name yet and it won't start playing until next spring. But the club has signed its first player -- 25-year-old Spanish midfielder Sergio Ruiz.

Ruiz was formerly captain of Racing Santander in Spain. Two years ago, he had six goals and seven assists to help lead the team's promotion into Spain's second division. 

In announcing the signing, Charlotte MLS Sporting Director Zoran Krneta said: "We are laying down the foundations of a competitive and winning team, and Ruiz is the ideal player to start with." 

“We’ve been scouting him for several months. He is a natural leader and an intelligent, versatile midfielder, who will be joining Charlotte MLS in his prime. We are very pleased that he has decided to join us,” Krneta said. 

His signing comes during a two-day international transfer window, and just as MLS teams return to play after the league shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am so happy and am really looking forward to arriving in Charlotte,” Ruiz said in a news release. “It’s an exciting project and a dream for me. I am committed to do my best and make the club and its fans feel really proud.”

Charlotte will loan Ruiz to another team until it begins play.

Major League Soccer announced in December that it was awarding an expansion team to billionaire David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers.  The team will play at Bank of America Stadium. 

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