By Ryan Bailey

After starting his youth soccer career in the Carolinas, Alex Martinez played professionally for Sporting Kansas City in MLS, and played five USL seasons for the Charlotte Independence. In January 2021, the former midfielder joined Charlotte FC as Head of Recruitment for the Academy.

What does your typical day look like?

It depends on the day. On Mondays, for example, I work on positional-based training with our fullbacks and wingers. Typically, if we have trialists coming, I check them in, give them their gear, and introduce them to the coaching staff. I keep an eye on the trialists throughout the week, as I am responsible for feedback on their progress and how they’ve integrated into the team.

What is the best part of your day?

It’s great to meet the trialists and their families when they first arrive for this exciting opportunity. I also enjoy being out on the field to watch the boys train, while seizing any opportunities to work with them directly.

How important is a good talent identification process for Charlotte FC’s Academy?

I believe a good talent identification process is crucial to the goals we want to accomplish as an Academy. Our aim is to send at least two Academy players each year to preseason with the first team, and this process allows us to analyze the most promising aspects of the players.

In terms of young talent, is there something that makes the Carolinas special?

Growing up in this area, I have seen a tremendous amount of talent at all levels. By bringing this opportunity to Charlotte, along with its talented staff and network of supporters, we are providing a unique opportunity for growth and commitment to the beautiful game, its players and our communities.

You made the transition from professional player to technical staff. Was that an easy process?

Stepping away from playing the game is never easy. However, the opportunity that came to me with Charlotte FC made this step a bit more acceptable. I always knew that after playing I wanted to stay involved, and stepping into this role with Charlotte FC—a new franchise with lots of opportunities—and working with a great staff, has made the transition enjoyable.

We have some great personalities within our Academy teams. How enjoyable is it to work with this group?

Working with such diverse players that come from many different backgrounds has been something I’ve really enjoyed. We learn just as much from the players as they learn from us. They help us become better coaches, recruiters, and leaders.

Finally, how do you define success?

To me, success in my role is bringing in great players and great people to our community. Those who lead by example, both on and off the field, by creating an atmosphere in which players can accomplish their goals and dreams.