Charlotte FC announced today it has agreed to an 18-month loan of midfielder Sergio Ruiz, the team’s first-ever player signing, to Spanish club UD Las Palmas of LaLiga 2 for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Ruiz will return from loan and arrive in Charlotte as Charlotte FC begins training camp in January 2022, in advance of its inaugural season.

“After carefully considering our options in Europe, we decided it was a perfect fit for Sergio to join Las Palmas,” said Zoran Krneta, Charlotte FC’s sporting director. “LaLiga2 is a strong league that Sergio knows well and one that suits his playing style. Las Palmas is a big club intent on returning to LaLiga, and they view Sergio as a key player in achieving that goal. We look forward to welcoming Sergio back to Charlotte ahead of our 2022 inaugural season.”

Charlotte FC announced Ruiz’s signing in July as the 25-year-old arrived via transfer from Spanish second division side Racing Santander.

Ruiz played for Racing for the past three seasons after graduating from its reserve team in 2016. His six goals and seven assists in the 2018-19 campaign helped earn Racing promotion to the Spanish Second Division. Ruiz was a team captain and played 31 times in Racing’s 2019-20 campaign.

Charlotte FC is the 30th Major League Soccer franchise and begins play in 2022 at Bank of America Stadium. Click below to place a season ticket membership deposit and secure seats for the team’s inaugural season. Deposits are available in three seating categories starting at $50 per account.

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