CHARLOTTE—Mark Simpson will coach Charlotte FC’s inaugural U14 team, the club announced on Friday.

Simpson, who will continue to serve in his role as Head of Analytics, offers a wealth of experience in coaching at youth level in the Carolinas. During 15 years with NC Soccer Fusion, Simpson coached all age groups before ascending to a Technical Director position.

“I am looking forward to coaching Charlotte FC’s U14 side,” said Simpson. “I enjoyed being part of the scouting process and feel we have identified exciting and talented young players. With a progressive and evidence-based approach, we aim to create an environment that develops players who will play for the first team in the future.”

Simpson, who formerly played for English side Nottingham Forest, has previously worked as a scout for the Seattle Sounders, and has forged a unique specialism in evidence-based performance analysis.

“The 2022 first-team timeline gives us the significant benefit of Mark being able to coach our U14 group,” says Charlotte FC Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “We hired Mark in a first-team role to support player development and feedback loops. We are delighted the Academy will get the benefit of his expertise on a daily basis in its first year.”

Simpson’s U14 team is set to commence training on July 27th. They will operate on a full-time basis, with daily training and regular tournament play in MLS’ Elite Player Development Platform.

“We’re very excited to have Mark coach in the Academy this year,” says Academy Manager Dan Lock. “He has a proven track record in the game and is an expert in his field of analytics. His role with the U14s will further strengthen the connection between the Academy and first team in years to come.”