MLS expansion side Charlotte FC recently announced the signing of Premier League champion Christian Fuchs, marking their biggest advancement yet.
The expansion team revealed recently that this signing was a long time in the making, kicking off initial conversations in March 2020. Covid-19 delayed the transaction, but Charlotte FC finalized and announced the grand transfer on June 6.
The Austrian defender explained the decision to play in MLS was not a hard one after speaking with sporting director Zoran Krneta and special advisor Steve Walsh, who assisted in assembling Leicester City’s championship squad that stunned audiences with their Cinderella story in 2016.
“It doesn’t take a lot to convince me when Steve Walsh is involved, because so far he has given me a lot of pleasure in my career," Fuchs said in a virtual press conference. "When he’s telling me, ‘Listen, this is something legit. This is something very good that’s growing in Charlotte that’s coming into MLS,’ that’s all he needs to tell me...I was convinced very easily, to say it that way."
Charlotte FC is serious about the growth of football in the United States and MLS. The project has been exponentially growing since announcing themselves in July 2020.
“From my conversation with the club officials is that they want to play attractive football, football that’s based in possession, something that I’ve done at Leicester for the last couple of years, something that I’m very attracted to," Fuchs added. "It should be football that excites our fans, that makes them want to see more, that makes them look forward to the next game and the next game.”
Fuchs also confessed that his wife played an integral role in convincing him to feature in the American league. The player’s wife and children currently live in New York.
"Being in the US was the easy part," said Fuchs. "The hard part was that, when I signed for Leicester in 2015, I signed for three years and said in 2018, 'I’m home.' Well, it’s 2021 now, so that was the hard part...she was the one that said, ‘You need to go there,’ so she had to convince me.”
Prior to signing a one-year contract with Charlotte FC, the defender noticed the league’s improvement and standout players.
"I even saw then how the game got better," Fuchs said. "I think it’s some good football being played here. I think the young players that are breaking through the cracks, that are pushing into the national team and are now also playing internationally shows that there’s really good talent in this country."