Charlotte FC Celebrates Historic Season-Opening Victory Under Coach Dean Smith

In a landmark event at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte FC marked the beginning of the Dean Smith era with a historic 1-0 victory over New York City FC, achieving their first season-opening win since the club’s inception three years ago.

This victory also represents the first Major League Soccer win for Smith, a coach renowned for his Premier League experience, who has been charged with the mission of transforming a team previously predicted to struggle in the Eastern Conference.

Adding to the night’s achievements, Nimfasha Berchimas, a homegrown talent for Charlotte FC, made a significant mark in the MLS history books. Just two days after his 16th birthday, Berchimas made his senior team debut as an 84th-minute substitute for Kerwin Vargas during the match, becoming the ninth-youngest player to play in the league.

This milestone adds to Berchimas’s growing reputation, following his successful stint at the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup where he scored three goals across four matches.

The game’s decisive moment came early, with Adilson Malanda scoring the sole goal in the eighth minute, ensuring a victorious start for Smith’s tenure with Charlotte. The team is now set to carry this momentum into their next match against Minnesota United FC on Saturday, building on their historic season-opening success.



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