Carolina Core FC signs goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg

CAROLINA CORE FC SIGNS ANDREW PANNENBERG

CCFC WELCOMES GOALKEEPER, ANDREW PANNENBERG, TO SQUAD AHEAD OF INAUGURAL 2024 MLS NEXT PRO SEASON

CAROLINA CORE, N.C. – Carolina Core FC, an independent club that will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2024, has signed 25 year old, Andrew Pannenberg. The former Wake Forest University goalkeeper is coming back to The Core, bringing two seasons of MLS NEXT Pro experience to CCFC.

“Andrew is an extremely technical goalkeeper that exhibits leadership abilities we want from that position. Not only is he sound with his shot-stopping, but he possesses the foot skills the team will need to build out of the back. We are excited to see Andrew grow and develop with Carolina Core FC,” says Roy Lassiter, Head Coach.

Pannenberg began his youth playing career with Charlotte Soccer Academy (CSA). He competed with CSA Developmental Academy team starting in 2014, and was selected for the Academy Select game, starting the match. In 2015, Pannenberg was voted Charlotte Goalkeeper of the year and earned recognition as Academy Player of the Week after beating Orlando City. His success with CSA’s Developmental Academy earned Pannenberg two call ups to the United States Men’s U-17 National Team beginning in 2015.

At the age of 17, Pannenberg began his professional playing career, signing an amateur contract with Charlotte Independence. The contract allowed him to retain his NCAA playing eligibility. The goalkeeper choose to continue his playing career collegiately with Wake Forest University (WFU) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As a freshman, Pannenberg started against No. 6 Clemson University, earning WFU a double-overtime victory. During his redshirt sophomore season, Pannenberg played in and started 22 of 23 matches, recording over 2,000 minutes of playing time. That same season, Pannenberg had 50 saves and earned 9 shutouts with an average of 0.72 goals-against average. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) awarded him All-ACC Third Team Honors following that impressive season. In 2020, Pannenberg started all of WFU’s matches during the abbreviated COVID-19 season. The goalkeeper earned honors from his conference, being named ACC Defensive Player of the Week.

Pannenberg was selected in the second round (49th overall) in the 2021 MLS Superdraft by Orlando City SC. Following training with the club, Pannenberg signed a contract with USL Championship club, Colorado Springs Switchbacks. He made his professional debut with a 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City. Once MLS NEXT Pro was launched, Pannenberg joined Houston Dynamo 2, where he has played the last two seasons.

“Andrew has professional experience in his arsenal that will be instrumental to being a leader on this squad. We are looking forward to bringing the Wake Forest University goalkeeper back to the NC Core,” states Eddie Pope, Chief Sporting Officer.

The experienced goalkeeper will join Carolina Core FC in their inaugural season with MLS NEXT Pro this coming spring. After playing two seasons in the league, Pannenberg’s leadership will be instrumental to the success of the club. Carolina Core FC will play their home matches at Truist Point in downtown High Point, North Carolina.

ABOUT Carolina Core FC

Founded in 2022, Carolina Core FC is an independent professional men’s soccer club that will begin play in MLS NEXT Pro in 2024. The club’s local owners are dedicated to community development through its on-field and off-field activities. Carolina Core FC has diligently worked behind the scenes to build together its experienced executive staff, including High Point Native, Eddie Pope as the Chief Sporting Officer. Eddie is a former U.S. Men’s National Team, MLS legend and USSF Hall of Famer. #CCFC will play its home matches in High Point, N.C. at Truist Point, the $38 million stadium located in the revitalized downtown social district. Supporters can join the club by securing a season seat and ordering Carolina Core FC merchandise at www.carolinacorefc.com.

ABOUT MLS NEXT Pro

Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the pro player pathway from MLS NEXT, the youth academies associated with MLS, through to MLS, the top U.S. domestic league. Twenty-one clubs competed during the inaugural season with Columbus Crew 2 winning the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro Cup in October. MLS NEXT Pro continues to grow the game through innovation and diversity, bringing professional soccer to new communities across the country and creating global opportunities both on and off the field. MLS NEXT Pro then expanded to add seven more MLS-affiliated clubs in 2023: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club (Huntsville City FC) and New York Red Bulls. Additional MLS-affiliated and independent clubs, will join in the years ahead, including Carolina Core FC in 2024. Beginning in 2023, MLS NEXT Pro matches became available to be streamed live on the Apple TV platform as part of the partnership between Apple and Major League Soccer. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com.