CHARLOTTE — Alex Martinez has been appointed Head of Recruitment for Charlotte FC’s Academy, the club announced on Tuesday.

Martinez, who began his soccer career at youth level in Rock Hill, S.C., played professionally for Sporting Kansas City in MLS after being selected in the 2014 SuperDraft. He went on to make 116 appearances in five USL seasons for the Charlotte Independence.

In his new role, the former midfielder will be focusing on the identification and recruitment of talent for the Academy.

“Alex has extensive experience in the game through his time playing in MLS and locally in the USL,” Academy Manager Dan Lock said. “He has a deep knowledge of the soccer community in the Carolinas, having grown up and played here. His passion for the game, together with his experience, makes him a perfect fit for our Academy.”

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Martinez moved to the United States at age nine and attended Rock Hill’s Northwestern High School. He led the school to three state championships and a No.1 ranking nationally in the ESPN and NSCAA polls.

In addition to playing for High Point and N.C. State at the collegiate level, Martinez also spent time with the Carolina Dynamo under current Charlotte FC Technical Director Marc Nicholls.

“I first met Alex as his coach at the Carolina Dynamo, and in all my years I don’t think that I have worked with anyone quite so passionate,” Nicholls said. “It is vitally important that we recruit players who are hungry and desperate to be in a professional environment, which makes Alex ideal for this role. He possesses a real sense of community, and has deep roots and knowledge of our market.”

Martinez has complemented a highly successful playing career with youth coaching. In 2015, he was appointed head coach for Rock Hill’s Discoveries Soccer Club—the same club where he played as a kid.

“I look forward to serving the soccer community and increasing the knowledge of our local talent pool,” Martinez said. “I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the talented staff at Charlotte FC.”