Charlotte FC, the newest MLS Club, keeps signing players in order to have a competitive roster for the 2022 MLS Season. Today they announced the signing of its 18th player, Kristijan Kahlina, a 29-year-old Croatian goalkeeper out of Bulgarian PFC Ludogorets Razgard.
After playing on loan for the first semester of 2021, Ludogorets completed the transfer of the goalkeeper from HNK Gorica during the summer transfer window. He was under contract until 2024 with the Bulgarian side prior to his incorporation to the Minted Team.
“Kristijan is a well-rounded goalkeeper that fits into our game model. He makes good decisions when the ball is at his feet and compliments that with good aerial play and shot stopping,” said Sporting Director Zoran Krneta.
Kahlina has experience playing on international matches, as in the current season he defended Ludogorets goal on four occasions in the 2021/2022 Europa League. He also was the starting goalkeeper during their run on the Champions League Qualifiers.
“He comes to us with experience in European competition and is excited for the challenge of playing in Major League Soccer.”
In order to complete the transfer, Charlotte FC acquired an international roster slot from DC United in exchange of $250,000 General Allocation Money (GAM). With the addition of this spot, Charlotte now has 11 international roster slots for the 2022 season.
In total, Kristijan Kahlina played 38 matches for PFC Ludogorets Razgard, between League, Cup and international matches. He allowed 38 goals on that span and has scored 13 clean sheets.
Ludogorets has been the best team in the Bulgarian League for the past decade, as they currently stand in the first place and has been champion for the past 10 years.
Will compete with Pablo Sisniega for the starter spot
Pablo Sisniega was the lone goalkeeper on Charlotte’s roster until the acquisition of Kahlina. Sisniega signed earlier this year out of LAFC, where he played 8 games during the 2021 MLS Season.
The 25-year-old Mexican goalkeeper joined LACF in 2019, when he transferred from Spanish Real Sociedad B, the Academy team from Real Sociedad. He played a total of 32 games for Los Angelinos, where he received 47 goals and managed to score four clean sheets.
“Our scouting team has searched domestically and internationally to find goalkeepers with all the right attributes for Miguel’s game model, and who are the right fit for the club. Kahlina fits perfectly, and is an outstanding candidate to complement Pablo Sisniega,” said Andy Quy, Charlotte FC goalkeeper coach.
Charlotte FC is building an international squad
According to Charlotte FC’s webpage, with the addition of Kahlina, the club now has 18 players signed for the 2022 season, with 14 different nationalities, including players from Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Peru and England.
One of the most renowned players in Charlotte FC’s roster is Christian Fuchs, who played for Leicester City from 2015 to 2021. The Austrian left back was part of the Leicester City team that won the Premier League in 2016.