CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A 16-year-old Concord native has become Charlotte FC’s first player to be promoted from the Academy to sign a professional contract.

On Wednesday, Charlotte FC announced that the Club has signed midfielder Brian Romero to a Homegrown contract through 2026 with an option for 2027.

“Someone that much talent at that age…the life he has in front of him in this league is incredible,” said Charlotte FC fan James Atwood.

Romero, a United States youth international, joined Charlotte FC’s academy in 2020 as a 14-year-old from Charlotte Soccer Academy.

He began with the U-15s before progressing to the U-17 team and has been a key part of setting the foundation of the Club’s growing academy, Charlotte FC said.

“Becoming Charlotte FC’s first Homegrown signing is a dream come true. It’s an emotional moment for me and my family and I’m very excited for what is to come as a professional,” Romero said in a written statement, released on Wednesday. “I want to thank my mom, my dad, and the rest of my family who have supported me in this journey. Thank you also to all the coaches, staff, and players throughout the Academy and First Team who have brought me in, welcomed me, and worked with me to have this opportunity.” 

“It’s crazy he’s signed a homegrown contract, and he’s going to do big things,” said Charlotte FC fan Zeily Melendez.

Romero was one of two academy players to train with the First Team during preseason preparations in Charleston and has been invited to continue training throughout the 2022 season.