12-Year MLS Veteran, Dominic Oduro Details Pro Soccer Journey and Coaching Charlotte FC in UPSL
Competing in their first-ever UPSL season, Charlotte FC Academy have spent the spring playing against some of the league’s top teams—including last season’s UPSL National Runner-Up, SCU Heat. MLS fans watching Charlotte FC’s Academy side this year will also notice a familiar face on the sidelines. After a 12-year MLS career, Dominic Oduro is now head coach of the Charlotte FC Academy team in the UPSL Premier Division.
After serving as a coach of the Charlotte FC Academy U14 team last year, the former MLS forward has taken the Charlotte FC UPSL side to a 6-0-3 record with the 3rd most goals scored in the Mid-Atlantic conference. With a game in hand, the team has a chance to move as high as second place in the table this week.
The team had a great start to the Spring season with two opening wins, and are currently on a 3-game unbeaten streak. Oduro describes what his experience as Head Coach in the UPSL has been like so far.
“Coaching in the UPSL is a great experience; the level is high. These are all young players fighting to go pro and my job is to give them the knowledge and experience on what it takes. My goal is to show them that it’s possible, and how. I was brought in by the club to help guide our younger players what it takes to go pro.”
Making his coaching debut at the semi-pro level, Oduro had an electric career in the MLS which includes scoring almost 100 MLS goals for teams like FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. Montreal is where he played with Didier Drogba and help take his team all the way to the MLS Conference Finals.
“My dream one day is be a head coach in the MLS and coaching in the UPSL has been a great experience. One thing I’m learning on this coaching journey is that as a player when you leave the soccer field you move on the next session or next game—as a coach you have a different perspective and look at things differently. You have to analyze everything and plan very well.”
“Our goal is to make the UPSL playoffs this season, and the aim long-term is to develop players for the first-team. We use every game as learning experience with a view towards the first team. We focus on playing good soccer and getting our players playing at a high level and developing.”
Charlotte FC Academy are currently battling for a top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Conference as Oduro and his team look to close out the season with two big wins. As the Mid-Atlantic season wraps up next month, playoffs will determine who is set to move on and represent the conference in the National Playoff bracket. Charlotte’s upcoming opponents Mint Hill and Soda City are also fighting for a top four finish—with the conference title most likely to be decided on the final match day.
ABOUT UNITED PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Women’s leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Semi Pro League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF. More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook or Instagram. Contact: [email protected] / Media: [email protected]