CHARLOTTE — Jorge Herrera has been appointed Community Engagement Manager for Charlotte MLS, the club announced Monday.

Herrera, who played professional soccer in the city for the Charlotte Eagles and Charlotte Independence, will work with Director of Community Engagement Dustin Swinehart to encourage the growth of the sport through community and charity initiatives.

A native of Colombia, Herrera represented several top-division South American sides before arriving in Charlotte in 2007 to play for the Eagles. After winning MVP nominations and securing the USL2 regular-season title in his second season, Herrera signed for the Independence in 2015, where he became a fan favorite.

With 13 years of experience and expertise in the city’s soccer community, including coaching roles at high school and club level, Herrera plans to help Charlotte MLS’ recreational programs and outreach initiatives flourish across the city’s diverse communities and neighborhoods.

“I feel honored to be a part of this team and give back to the community that has embraced me and my family,” Herrera said. “I’m looking forward to serving this community and increasing the positive impact of our MLS team.”

The Charlotte MLS community program aims to encourage the growth of soccer and to help unite the city through a shared passion for the game. In order to promote inclusion of all communities in the city, initiatives will include after-school programs, fan engagement events and improved access to soccer facilities.

“Jorge is a perfect fit to help us build Charlotte MLS within our community,” said Swinehart. “His depth of investment in the soccer community, and his reputation in the city—in particular in the Hispanic community—are exactly what we need to help build this club the right way, from the ground up. We are so excited to have Jorge at Charlotte MLS and he will undoubtedly play a key role in the growth of the club in our community.”