By Ryan Bailey
In the buildup to Charlotte FC’s inaugural season, members of the inaugural roster will earn valuable game time with other clubs around the world. Every month before first kick, CharlotteFootballClub.com will check in with our Loan Stars to report on their progress…
Sergio Ruiz (Las Palmas)
Charlotte FC’s first-ever signing made a loan move to Las Palmas in the Spanish Segunda Division in September 2020—and he’s been going from strength to strength ever since.
Playing in a central midfield role, the Spanish midfielder has been ever-present for the Canary Islands club, notching five goals and three assists from 26 league appearances in 2020-21.
— Cheezo (@illgill91) March 28, 2021
In March, Ruiz scored two vital goals: a game-tying 87th-minute strike against Rayo Vallecano, and a long range equalizer in the derby against Tenerife to round out the month. For his efforts in the latter game, the 26-year-old was awarded a spot in the Segunda Division Team of the Week.
Riley McGree (Birmingham City)
Australian midfielder McGree has made eight league appearances with Birmingham City this season, for a total of 421 minutes in the English Championship. In October, he scored his first goal for the Midlands side during a road game at Preston North End.
Riley McGree (21) v Preston
2 Key passes
3 Dribbles completed
100% Corner accuracy
Effective when on the ball. pic.twitter.com/6HCcsBUQdi
— Mezzala Football (@MezzalaFtbl) October 31, 2020
In March, the 22-year-old registered minutes with Birmingham’s U23 side, and fired home an impressive left-footed long-range strike against Cardiff:
Picking his spot. 🏹
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) March 22, 2021
That goal will undoubtedly put McGree on the radar of Birmingham’s new manager Lee Bowyer, who took the reins at St Andrews in mid-March.
Brandt Bronico (Charlotte Independence)
It’s been a busy month for Carolina native Bronico, who spent time helping with the development of Charlotte FC’s youth academy prospects before embarking on his loan deal for the 2021 campaign.
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The former Chicago Fire midfielder will spend the season with the Charlotte Independence, who will play their home games at the newly redeveloped Memorial Stadium in the Elizabeth neighborhood.
“I wanted to be back in Charlotte playing soccer, so I’m grateful to be signing on loan with the Independence this year,” said Bronico, following the announcement of his loan spell with the USL side. “It means a lot to be able to remain in the city, and I’m thrilled to continue my journey within Charlotte’s growing soccer community.”
The Independence will star their season on Saturday, May 1st, with a road game at the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Jan Sobociński (ŁKS Łódź)
The most recent addition to Charlotte’s inaugural roster remains a regular fixture with his hometown team ŁKS Łódź.
Sobociński, who turned 22 on March 20th, has made 19 starts in the Polish I Liga in the 2020-21 season.
A few days before his unveiling as Charlotte FC’s fourth signing, the defender scored from a set piece in a cup game against Poland’s most successful side, Legia Warsaw.