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Charlotte’s MLS expansion team hires Seattle Sounders veteran as technical director

Marc Nicholls is Charlotte’s second hire to the unnamed expansion team’s technical staff.

The Major League Soccer expansion team in Charlotte has made its second hire for its technical staff.

Marc Nicholls will be the club’s technical director, the team announced Tuesday. Nicholls was previously the director of player development for the Seattle Sounders.

Nicholls joins sporting director Zoran Krneta as the two first technical staff hires the Charlotte MLS team has made. MLS awarded billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper and the city of Charlotte an expansion franchise last month.

“Marc is a crucial addition to our team,” Tom Glick, the president of Tepper Sports and Entertainment, said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience in Major League Soccer and our region, and he has built high performing teams. It’s great to have him join us right now, as we build from the ground up, including constructing our youth academy, establishing partnerships with other soccer organizations, confirming our coaching methods and laying pathways for young players into our senior team.”

Nicholls joined the Sounders in 2014 and was responsible for finding and developing players. In his past three seasons with the Sounders, Nicholls oversaw the transition of 15 academy players to MLS and the USL. In 2019, the Sounders’ U-17 side became the only MLS representative to reach the final of the Generation Adidas Champions Division.

Nicholls is a two-time U.S. Soccer Coach of the Year and currently sits on the MLS Player Development Sub-Committee and is a member of the education department at U.S. Soccer.

In Charlotte, Nicholls will be involved in decisions related to player development, scouting, coaching and strategic planning.

“I’m delighted to be joining Charlotte MLS,” Nicholls said in a statement. “I was immediately struck by the quality of the people and the vision of our leadership group. This area has great soccer tradition, and although it is our ambition to have worldwide appeal, we can’t wait to build a club that will represent the region.”

This marks Nicholls return to North Carolina, as he has previously worked for a few youth clubs in the state, including the North Carolina Fusion, Greensboro United and the Winston Salem Twins.

“Marc’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we work together to build Charlotte MLS and get us ready for 2021,” Krneta said in a statement. “His expertise and outstanding record of achievements to date in developing young players, along with his deep understanding of the soccer landscape in the area, make Marc the natural choice for this role.”

Charlotte’s yet-to-be-named MLS club will begin play in 2021 at Bank of America Stadium.




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