Charlotte FC captain Christian Fuchs is retiring from professional soccer after 19 seasons.
Yes, but: The 36-year-old Austrian’s time in Charlotte isn’t over. He’ll join the Major League Soccer club as a first team assistant coach along with Andy Quy, who signed a new contract, and new hires Pa-Modou Kah, goalkeeper coach Aron Hyde and head video coach Rohan Sachdev.
Why it matters: As a Premier League winner during the 2015-16 season with Leicester City, Fuchs was arguably Charlotte FC’s biggest signing to date. The team used him heavily in marketing the inaugural season.
What they’re saying: “It has been an incredible journey for me and my family,” Fuchs said in a statement. “Not only did we celebrate great success throughout the years, but we have also been able to learn from amazing people during this journey. I am so thankful for all the support I received during my career from club representatives, my teammates, and the fans. I am looking back with a big smile on the special moments I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
- Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta called Fuchs’ role in their inaugural season “critical” for laying the foundation of what they’re trying to build. Krneta added that Fuchs is “leaving behind an incredible legacy both on and off the field.”
By the numbers: He scored three goals (all of which were penalty kicks) for Charlotte FC in 27 games. His career includes 577 professional club appearances, 37 goals and 83 assists, plus 78 caps for Austria of which he was captain for 37, including the 2016 UEFA Euro.
Flashback: Fuchs spent part of the 2021 season on loan with the Charlotte Independence, playing at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Elizabeth alongside Charlotte FC teammates Adam Armour and Brandt Bronico. He was encouraged to come to Charlotte by Charlotte FC’s special advisor Steve Walsh, who also encouraged him to go to England to play for Leicester.
- Fuchs promised his wife Leicester would be his final stop as he split time between his family in New York and his career in England.
- But convincing his wife to play in the United States was an easy sell, because it was four-hours door-to-door instead of traveling through timezones and across oceans.
Of note: Fuchs connected with fans and businesses locally, partnering with Resident Culture Brewing to create the No Fuchs Given lager and throwing World Cup watch parties there.
- He also has his own esports academy under his No Fuchs Given brand, founded the Foxes Sports Foundation and has a youth academy outside of New York City.
1 last clarification: Fuchs’ last name means “fox” in German, and it’s pronounced like the curse word.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Fuchs’ new role.