Charlotte FC became the latest MLS expansion club to take to the field in 2022, but their story goes back much further than that.
After David Tepper bought NFL franchise the Carolina Panthers in May 2018, a small group quickly got to work on the top-secret 'Other Football Project'.
Sights were set on bringing a Major League Soccer team to Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, with the project's leaders convinced they could create something special thanks to the untapped and diverse soccer community in the Carolinas.
Watch the story of Charlotte FC's journey to MLS in 90min's The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.
History was made in December 2019 when MLS commissioner Don Garber awarded the 30th expansion franchise to the city of Charlotte.
Just a few years later, after immense hard work in naming the club, creating a logo, colors and identity, appointing staff, and building a team, Charlotte FC took to the field for their fist-ever competitive match away at DC United on Saturday, Febuary 26.
And just a week after that, CLTFC broke the MLS attendance record, facing the LA Galaxy in their first-ever home match in front of 74,479 fans.
There have been bumps along the way since. It took Charlotte until Week 4 to pick up their first-ever win, while integral members of the club's founding and building have moved on, including head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez.
But nobody can take away that opening statement, or the fans that have already shown incredible passion and dedication to their new club.
90min witnessed that remarkable piece of history at Bank of America Stadium live to tell the story of how Charlotte FC made it happen.
Charlotte FC meet their first ever Premier League opposition on Wednesday night, facing up to Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea.
Source : 90min