Charlotte FC forward Vinicius Mello is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the team’s preseason training while recovering from a prior injury, a source familiar with the situation told The Observer.
Mello, 19, has not participated in training since preseason began last week in Charlotte due to an injury he suffered with his former Brazilian club, Internacional. Mello fractured his left foot, which is his dominant foot, while playing with Inter in September and underwent surgery while in Brazil.
His estimated recovery time was originally four months, but it appears the process will take longer and could impact his availability for the start of the Major League Soccer season.
Charlotte FC’s first match is Feb. 26 against D.C. United in Washington D.C.
Mello arrived in Charlotte in early January and has not yet trained with the team. He did not travel with the squad on Friday to Bradenton, Fla., where the team will participate in its second leg of preseason through Feb. 8.
The absence of Mello means that Charlotte will be short an attacking player while still assembling its senior roster. The club recently added Polish striker Karol Świderski as a Designated Player. Forward Yordy Reyna and winger McKinze Gaines are also on the senior roster. Kyle Holcomb, a former Wake Forest forward, was picked up by Charlotte during this year’s MLS SuperDraft.
As of Friday, Charlotte FC’s roster has 25 players on it, 19 of whom, including Mello, are on the senior roster. Mello was the team’s first U22 initiative player. He overlapped with Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez while at Inter last year, and made 13 appearances (two starts) for the Brazilian first division team since last February.
He signed a four-year contract with Charlotte FC, with an option year for the 2026 season, in December.