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Tradition & Excellence: A Look Back

The Charlotte Eagles

The Charlotte Eagles’ founding came from President Brian Davidson feeling called in 1991 to start a high level soccer team that could be used for worldwide missions. In 1991, Brian and Rick McKinley moved their families from California to Charlotte to open the Charlotte Eagles office. In 1992, the vision of a high level team became a reality when the Charlotte Eagles were awarded a franchise from the United Soccer Leagues. In 1993, under the leadership of Brian Davidson and General Manager Tim Donelli, the Charlotte Eagles began play along with franchises such as the Carolina Dynamo, Charleston Battery and Richmond Kickers.

The USL in 1993 consisted of 43 teams. After two seasons in the amateur division the Eagles jumped to the newly developed second tier of the USL Professional Division. The Eagles were in that division, the USL-2, for 13 of their 21 years. After winning the USL Second Division title in 2000, the Eagles moved up to the top tier (USL First Division) for three seasons, from 2001-2003. In 2011 the USL combined the top two divisions to form USL PRO.  The Charlotte Eagles have participated in USL PRO for the past three seasons.

During their history, the Eagles have only had two head coaches, Brian Davidson (1993-1996) and Mark Steffens (1997-Present), and two general managers, Tim Donelli (1993-1996) and Tom Engstrom (1997-Present).

On the field, the Eagles have been in the playoffs an amazing 16 of their 21 seasons in the USL. They have reached the championship final nine times. Most recently playing in front of 20,886 people against Orlando City in the 2013 USL PRO Championship. The Eagles have won the USL-2 Title twice in their history, in 2000 and 2005. The Eagles have also been awarded the USL’s Fair Play Award almost every year they have played in the USL, and have been recognized many times by the league with multiple Organization of the Year awards.

The Charlotte Eagles celebrate their 20th season as a PRO franchise in 2012. The team looks forward to participating in their 22nd season of professional soccer in 2014!


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