|Jaxson Watermann returns home with Charlotte 49ers soccer|
|Transfer expects to make immediate splash|
|Published Friday, August 16, 2019 11:20 am|
|Charlottet 49ers defender Jaxson Watermann.|
Jaxson Watermann came home.
The Charlotte 49ers defender transferred from North Carolina with an opportunity to make a mark with the 49ers, who are ranked 21st in the national preseason poll. It also meant putting in extra offseason training to prepare for his first college campaign.
“It was pretty much work and soccer,” said Watermann, a Harrisburg native who redshirted his freshman season with the Tar Heels. “Get up at 7 a.m. train with the guys, play a scrimmage and then run afterward, pretty much every day. After I would go to work and recover, and repeat the same process the next day.”
The defender has already made an impression on his teammates at captain’s practices throughout the summer.
“He’s extremely fit—fittest on the team,” junior center back Patrick Hogan said. “He can potentially be in there as a right back/winger.”
Said coach Kevin Langan: “I know he’s impressed at captain’s practice with how fit and sharp he has been. We’re excited to see what he can do on Monday.”
Watermann fits into a back four missing All-America center back Callum Montgomery, who FC Dallas selected in the MLS SuperDraft last winter. Charlotte’s presumptive center back pair is Hogan and sophomore defender Delasi Batse. On the outside will be a rotation on the right side of Watermann and sophomore Ethan Sawdon with junior Luke Johnson and senior Noah Seach at left back.
Expect a Brazilian style to Watermann’s game, who emulates Neymar and Dani Alves.
The Hickory Ridge High alumnus grew up playing for the Carolina Rapids along with current 49er defenders T.J. and Sean Suber.
“As a kid, I was always one of the faster guys,” Watermann said. “I started playing recreational soccer, and I just excelled at it. I played with some of my teammates here. T.J. Suber and Sean Suber—those are the guys I started out with when I was six or seven years old. Our brotherhood was kind of the reason I wanted to continue, and see where I could go with it.”
Said Langan: “We’ve known him for two years. Our old assistant, Kyle Gookins, was his coach—kind of converted him to the right side. We were very interested in him. He decided to go to another program.”
When Watermann decided to transfer, Langan already knew he would assimilate well with their scheme.
“We knew that No. 1 he would be a great fit personality and character wise with the program,” Langan said. “No. 2 bring him in and put him to work, and see what he can do and how he can contribute.”
Charlotte went 14-5-2; 6-2 in Conference USA last season.
The 49ers open with a preseason exhibition on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at home against USC Upstate. Their regular season opener is Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. against Gardner-Webb.
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