CHARLOTTE — Dustin Swinehart has been appointed Director of Community Engagement for Charlotte MLS, the club announced Monday.

Swinehart, who played professional soccer in Charlotte for 12 years, will spearhead the club’s effort to create a positive and long-term impact in the region.

In addition to playing professionally for the Charlotte Eagles, Swinehart has served the Charlotte community via soccer for over two decades. He has coached at youth, high school and club level, and acted as Executive Director of Project 658, a soccer charity initiative in East Charlotte that helps refugee and at-risk members of the community. 

“I have spent the last 22 years of my life and career investing in our community through soccer, and through serving others,” Swinehart said. “I am honored by the opportunity to continue that as part of Charlotte’s MLS. I’m excited to help build a team that will make our city proud, and that will build the belief that our community is better because the club is here.”

Through recreational programs, outreach initiatives and charitable events, Charlotte MLS will increase access to the sport for the city’s diverse communities and neighborhoods. The mission of the community program is to encourage the growth of soccer and to help unite the city through a shared passion for the game.

“Our region is fortunate to have a leader like Dustin Swinehart who is so accomplished, respected and active in serving others through soccer,” said Tom Glick, president of Tepper Sports and Entertainment. “Our new Major League Soccer club is committed to enriching our community, and we are delighted to have Dustin join our team as we build partnerships and programs to use the power of soccer to make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Swinehart will oversee the inception of neighborhood and after-school soccer programs to ensure all communities have an opportunity to participate in soccer and engage with the club. The community aspect will collaborate with existing initiatives, and will also offer the chance for community members of all ages to experience Charlotte MLS at Bank of America Stadium. 

Charlotte MLS will announce further additions to the soccer operations staff in the coming weeks.