Charlotte FC On the Path to Greatness

Thomas Schaling Reveals Strategies, Challenges, and Expectations for 2024
Inter Miami CF v Charlotte FC
Inter Miami CF v Charlotte FC / Matt Kelley/GettyImages

Behind the scenes, a dedicated team of professionals is working tirelessly to shape the future of a club. Thomas Schaling, Director of Scouting for Charlotte FC, shared valuable insights into the challenges faced and the strategies adopted to strengthen the team for the 2024 season.

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Recruitment Evaluation in the Second Season

"We solidified the team between transfer windows, bringing in players with MLS experience. We tried to strengthen the domestic base with college players, aiming to improve the overall roster."

Thomas Schaling

The quest for stability and continuous improvement marked Charlotte FC's second year. The careful blend of experienced players with emerging talents reflects Schaling's strategic vision.

Lessons from the Inaugural Season

"The recruitment strategy was different in the second year; we didn't start from scratch. This made it easier to identify positions to strengthen and allocate resources precisely."

Thomas Schaling

The learning from the first season brought clarity to the club's approach. Focus on processes, collaboration, and trust in understanding the North American league was enhanced.

Analysis of Key Player Performances

"Ashley really found his rhythm in June and July, bringing stability to the team. His leadership was vital as we navigated the challenges of the first two years."

Thomas Schaling

Schaling's positive assessment of key players like Ashley Westwood underscores the importance of experienced leaders in building a strong team.

Emphasis on the SuperDraft and Scouting Process

"We invested significant time and resources in scouting college players before the Combine. Collaboration with the technical team ensures assertive decisions during the draft."

Thomas Schaling

Charlotte FC's strategy to value the SuperDraft proves to be a differentiator. The meticulous scouting process involves data analysis, video observation, and personal interviews.

Challenges and Adaptation in MLS

"Adaptation in MLS is challenging, especially for international players. Experience in the league is an advantage, but the process involves various aspects, from changing countries to the unique playing style of MLS."

Thomas Schaling

Schaling highlights the complexity of adaptation, emphasizing the importance of experienced players in dealing with the peculiarities of the league.

Recruitment Process Amidst the Search for a New Coach

"We identified clear targets in the player market, anticipating positions to be strengthened. Keeping these targets warm until the hiring of the new coach was a challenge."

Thomas Schaling

The interview reveals the behind-the-scenes of player recruitment in a technical transition scenario. The hiring of Dean Smith allowed the continuity of the recruitment process.

Adilson Malanda, Leonardo Campana
Inter Miami CF v Charlotte FC / Matt Kelley/GettyImages

Criteria for Selecting a New Coach

"We were looking for experience, management skills, and alignment of vision with the sports department. Attractive playing style, development of young players, and proven leadership were fundamental aspects."

Thomas Schaling

The requirements for the new coach highlight the importance of aligning visions and the search for an attractive and successful playing style.

Balance Between Coach's Desires and Sports Department

"The biggest challenge is the vision and alignment between the sports department and the technical team. Collaboration is essential to find solutions that meet financial, tactical, and player profile objectives."

Thomas Schaling

Schaling emphasizes the need for balance between the coach's expectations and the strategies of the sports department in building the roster.

Immediate Next Steps for the Club

"We identified three key positions to be reinforced: defender, attacking midfielder, and winger. We have specific targets and are in active contact with about five players per position."

Thomas Schaling

The short-term vision includes identifying specific targets to strengthen key positions, revealing Charlotte FC's proactive mindset.

Reflections on Building Charlotte FC

"The real impact of building the club hit me when we played our first home game. Seeing more than 74,000 people cheering for the team we built together was incredible."

Thomas Schaling

Schaling's emotional account highlights the pride and connection with the community, even acknowledging that the club's ambition goes beyond initial achievements.

Expectations for the 2024 Season

"Despite the incredible moments, we faced challenges in the first two years. We want to take a big leap in 2024, learning from past experiences."

Thomas Schaling

Thomas Schaling's words reveal not only technical strategies but also the heart and passion behind building a soccer club. Charlotte FC is gearing up for greater heights, driven by a clear vision and a team committed to long-term success.