By Ryan Bailey

Charlotte FC’s first-ever signing is in pre-season training with his loan side Las Palmas

CHARLOTTE—Sergio Ruiz will start his second campaign on loan with Spanish Segunda Division side Las Palmas later this month, while savoring the prospect of joining up with parent club Charlotte FC for the first time in January 2022.

“I am eager to get started in Charlotte,” says Ruiz. “Everything will be new and amazing. Being able to meet the staff, my teammates, the fans, and see the stadium—it’s very exciting.”

The Spanish midfielder’s preparations for arriving in the Queen City have included a recent meeting with Miguel Angel Ramirez. Las Palmas is the hometown team of Charlotte FC’s first-ever head coach, who previously coached in the Spanish side’s youth program.

“I was able to meet Coach Miguel and have a coffee,” says Ruiz. “I think his style of play benefits me a lot, and is similar to the style of soccer we play in Las Palmas: a positive and attacking approach, with lots of possession and control of the game.”

The 26-year-old goes into his second loan campaign on the back of some impressive stats: in 2020-21, Ruiz played in 37 of Las Palmas’ 42 games, notching five goals and six assists. Per FotMob, the central midfielder created 43 chances last season, while completing 32 interceptions and 35 clearances.

“We are forming a very good group of players,” says Ruiz. “The league is very competitive and promotion is very difficult. During my remaining time here I will try to help the team to climb as high in the table as possible.”

Having overcome a recent bout with Covid-19, Ruiz is preparing for Las Palmas’ league season, which begins on August 15 with a potentially taxing encounter with Valladolid, who played in the Spanish top flight last season.

“I always like to go back into pre-season training,” says Ruiz. “I am very motivated and always keen to improve my performance.”

Ruiz’s highly successful loan spell with Las Palmas will conclude ahead of Charlotte FC’s first-ever pre-season training camp in January 2022. The midfielder is looking forward to continuing his burgeoning career in the United States.

“I have started preparing for our move by organizing the travel documentation with my partner, and looking at places to live and visit,” says Ruiz. “I am sure Charlotte will be the ideal place for my family and I hope I can stay for many years.”