Defender Gustavo Fernandes has signed a contract with North Carolina FC for the 2022 season, the club announced today. The deal is pending league and federation approval, and comes after Fernandes spent the first week of preseason training as a trialist with the team.
“The first week of training has been great, the club has made me feel very comfortable right away,” Fernandes said. “Everyone was getting after it and competing with one another, and you can tell right away that there’s a desire to win and compete for a championship which makes me really excited to join the team for the upcoming year. The fans can expect someone who’s going to leave it all out there for the team. I am super excited to get going and looking forward to competing for a championship.”
Fernandes joins North Carolina FC from Forward Madison of USL League One, where he spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons. While with the Flamingos, Fernandes made 26 appearances, 19 of which were starts, collecting an assist and 1,704 minutes of playing time. Prior to his time in Madison, the 24-year-old spent the 2019 season with the Ocean City Nor’easters of USL League Two, playing in twelve matches. Briefly, he played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies U-23 squad in Tampa, FL.
The West Babylon, NY native began his college playing career at Iowa Western Community College before transferring to Stony Brook University, scoring three goals and tallying five assists. At Stony Brook, Fernandes scored five goals and added one assist in 32 appearances for the Seawolves, earning a second-team all-conference selection in 2018.
“I’m extremely happy to add Gustavo to our group at North Carolina FC this year,” said Head Coach John Bradford. “He is a quality defender with strong qualities on both sides of the ball. He’s had a very positive preseason with us so far and definitely earned this opportunity.”