|Kameron Lacey brings energy, pace to Charlotte 49ers program|
|Freshman has global, MLS academy experience|
|Published Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:03 pm|
|PHOTO | SAM ROBERTS|
|Charlotte freshman striker/midfielder Kameron Lacey brings international experience and MLS academy background to the 49ers program.|
Kameron Lacey brings pace and power to the attacking third.
The freshman striker/midfielder joins the Charlotte 49ers with an impressive resume, so recruiting him was a no-brainer for coach Kevin Langan, who had to replace leading goal scorer Daniel Bruce’s six goals and five assists from last year.
“Just [Lacey’s] sheer work rate and energy—his directness when he gets on the ball, he has a one-track mind,” Langan said. “He wants to set it, and get in. He wants to turn and get going at defenders. Great pace. Great power. A real dangerous player, and wherever he’s been, he’s scored lots of goals. Recruiting him was, ‘OK, that’s the type of player we want here.”
Among the returning 49ers, sophomore striker Preston Popp, who scored five goals and provided an assist in 2018, scored two of Charlotte’s four preseason goals, while senior striker Maclean Holbrook scored three goals last season. Charlotte’s rotation up top will primarily include Popp, Holbrook, Lacey and freshman Axel Sigurdarson, who scored the winner against Davidson.
“The great thing about all four is they are all very different players,” Langan said. “Maclean’s a target you can play in to. Kameron has unbelievable pace to get in behind like Preston and is sharp. Axel has a lot of guile to his play, a lot of great movement. All four of them are very good players, and they give us kind of give us a different look.”
Lacey played for Miramar United Elite FC in Florida.
“I decided I wanted to do an MLS residency,” Lacey said. “I went to the FC Dallas academy. I was there for about three years. I was there with one of my [49ers] teammates, Carson Price,” a freshman defender/midfielder.
However, Lacey wanted to return home, spending a year with Orlando City FC. While the club setting shaped him into the player he would become, participating in an MLS residency fine-tuned his skillset.
“It made me develop concepts, like combination play, and working off the next player,” Lacey said.
He has also competed internationally for Jamaica at the U-17 and U-20 levels.
“I’ve made nine appearances at the international level,” Lacey said. “Played USA about five times. Played Venezuela. Played Canada twice. It’s just been an honor representing my country, because it’s just beautiful.”
Now his journey begins as a 49er.
Charlotte concluded preseason undefeated with a 3-0 win against USC Upstate and a 1-0 victory against Davidson. The 49ers, who open the regular season on Aug. 30 against Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m., are looking to build on last season’s 14-5-2, 6-2 Conference USA campaign. They exited the NCAA tournament with a second-round loss at Virginia Tech.
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