Charlotte FC roster takes shape through expansion draft

Charlotte FC roster

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte FC roster has begun to take shape after the selection of five players through the MLS Expansion Draft. They will kick off their inaugural season in 2022, playing at Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte. In addition to a few trades made prior, Charlotte FC has already brought in Christian Fuchs, Jaylin Lindsey, Pablo Sisniega, Riley McGree, Sergio Ruiz, Vinicius Mello, among others.

Charlotte FC selects five players through MLS Expansion Draft, trades some

Charlotte was allowed to select up to five players from the unprotected list that was released on Monday. Here are their selections:

McKinzie Gaines – FWD – Austin FC

Gaines scored one emphatic goal for Austin FC in its inaugural season, notching 9 total appearances. But unfortunately for him, he leaves his hometown ball club to head to Charlotte. I’m not sure how well this sits for either Austin or Gaines, but it’s a move that was made that neither can do much about.

Anton Walkes – DEF – Atlanta United F.C.

Anton Walkes being unprotected was a head-scratcher for many Five Stripes fans. The defender was a bright spot for them throughout the season on the backline and many mused they would’ve been better off leaving Guzan unprotected. After all, no expansion team wants an old, expensive, declining goalkeeper. They do want a prime-aged defender with overseas experience and tons of physical ability. But apparently, Atlanta didn’t. It’s a good pick for Charlotte.

Joseph Mora – DEF- D.C. United

Mora is an experienced outside back, which is hard to find these days. They can also be really crucial to the success of an expansion side. Mora has experience in South America, like manger Miguel Angel Ramirez, and has experience in MLS. He understands what Ramirez wants, and it should be a decent fit, if not to help bring in the type of culture Ramirez wasnts.

Tristan Blackmon – DEF – LAFC (Traded to Vancouver Whitecaps)

While this move would’ve been fantastic for their roster, Charlotte decided to flip him for the ever so valuable GAM, showing they have at least a decent idea of how to do things in MLS. Blackmon is a strong defender, still in his mid 20s, and has versatility to play either as a CB or RB. But, to take and keep both him and Mora, while trading for Jaylin Lindsey, made zero sense. So keep your GAM and move on.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi – FWD – NYCFC (Traded to LAFC)

MORE GAM! Tajouri-Shrad has been a great piece for NYCFC over the last few years. He can score goals when he comes off the bench, and has a flair for the spectacular strike. It might hurt them a little, but NYCFC has the money to paper over his absence. Tajouri-Shradi would’ve made more sense to just straight up keep, but for some reason they decided to flip him for more of that GAM. Charlotte’s GM said as much last night that they loaded up on some GAM to be able to try and go after a bigger name within the league. LAFC also make out good as their activity through the expansion draft has meant this cost them a total of $350k, thanks to the $50k coming back to them for Blackmon being selected. So in reality, LAFC acquired a guy who scored a lot of goals for the reigning champs for only $350k. That’s good business.