Less than three months ago, Charlotte FC played its first game in franchise history in front of a Major League Soccer record crowd of 73,019 at the Charlotte Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium. Owner David Tepper’s team got its first win two weeks later and advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup for the first time on May 11. Now, on May 31, the franchise has just completed another first, firing manager Miguel Ángel Ramírez after just 14 MLS games.
Charlotte FC is only 17 games into its inaugural season
In 2018, hedge fund billionaire David Tepper bought the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for $2.2 billion. After that, he set out to bring an MLS expansion franchise to the Queen City. In 2019, after paying a record $325 million in expansion fees, Charlotte FC was born.
The franchise signed its first player (Spanish midfielder Sergio Ruiz) in July 2020, hired its first coach (Spanish manager Miguel Ángel Ramírez) in July 2021, and its first Designated Player (Polish striker Karol Świderski) in January 2022.
Charlotte FC’s first game was hosting the LA Galaxy on March 5, 2022. The match was a hard-fought 1-0 loss in front of a jammed-packed Bank of America Stadium.
Two weeks later, Charlotte FC got its first win over the New England Revolution, and another immediately followed with a 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati. Three more wins followed, with the most recent coming on May 22 with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Along the way, Charlotte beat USL League 1’s Greenville Triumph and Richmond Kickers to make the Round of 16 in the 2022 U.S. Open Cup.
In addition to the five MLS wins, Charlotte has eight losses and one draw. They currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The team is just two points out of the last playoff spot with more than half the season to go.
The last two games didn’t go well for Ramírez and his team. On Wednesday, May 25, Charlotte lost to the New York Red Bulls 3-1 to exit the U.S. Open Cup. On Sunday, the squad lost again to the Seattle Sounders 2-1.
On Tuesday, May 31, the franchise fired Ramírez.
Charlotte FC fired manager Miguel Ángel Ramírez
Miguel Ángel Ramírez is a 37-year-old Spanish football manager. He started his career managing the Las Palmas youth side in Spain before moving on to some youth squads for famed Greek teams AEK, Panathinaikos FC, and Olympiacos.
In 2019, he moved up to the senior ranks, managing Independiente DV in Ecuador, followed by Internacional in Brazil.
Despite putting up a respectable record through 14 MLS matches and three U.S. Open Cup tilts, Charlotte FC fired Ramírez without much of an explanation.
“This is a difficult decision, but one we feel is best for the team at this time,” David Tepper said in a statement to MLS.com. “I want to thank Miguel and his staff for their hard work during our first season and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
While the sacking came as a shock when it happened, it may not be a complete surprise.
Ramírez hasn’t worked with a senior team for more than two seasons. In fact, at his last gig in Brazil, he also got sacked quickly, just over three months after he took the job.
He’s also made some head-turning comments since he started at Charlotte FC. Right before the start of the season, he told the press, “We are screwed” because a transfer deal fell apart and blamed the front office. Ramirez also said that Lionel Messi coming to MLS would be “stupidity.”
Assistant coach Christian Lattanzio will serve as interim manager as the team takes on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, June 11.