By Tyler Trent
David Poreba wins a header (Photo credit Jake Sokol of TopBin90)
On December 19, 2022, Crown Legacy FC announced their first-ever player signing, David Poreba. Poreba, an American and Polish dual-national, played for Stal Mielec in Poland’s Ekstraklasa and became the latest Polish player in the Charlotte FC system. Poreba’s arrival, while widely publicized, went under the radar as the roster continued to grow. Now, Crown Legacy FC sits at the top of the MLS Next Pro standings after six matches, and Poreba has cemented himself as captain and a club leader.
Born and raised in Chicago to Polish parents, Poreba lived the first 18 years of his life there. Poreba credits his dad for getting him into the sport when he was four or five. Growing up, Poreba played other sports like basketball and football for fun, but soccer was always his primary competitive sport.
When he was nine, Poreba joined the Chicago Fire Academy. After three years, he joined a more local club Chicago FC United as the drive to the Fire Academy was too far for his family to make consistently. Four years later, Poreba, now 18 years old, decided to forego the college pathway in soccer and instead trialed at several clubs in Poland. Soon, Poreba found his place at Stal Mielec, playing for their reserve team. After two months, Poreba impressed the technical staff and was promoted to the first team. In June 2022, Poreba signed his first-ever professional contract with Stal Mielec. Poreba was able to make multiple appearances for the first team but felt he needed more opportunities to prove himself. After speaking with his agent, the opportunity to join Charlotte arrived. “For me, it was a no-brainer to come here. I’ve been really excited and really grateful that I can be here and develop and learn,” Poreba commented on the opportunity with Crown Legacy FC.
Crown Legacy's Captain
Poreba has quickly made a name for himself in Charlotte. Being the first player for Crown Legacy, the club’s captain, providing goals and assists as the club has performed exceptionally well. “It’s a huge honor. I had my own goals and ambitions coming here, and to be honest, I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to get the captain’s armband. I’m really grateful to have that role.”
In his short time at Crown Legacy FC, Poreba has already experienced a moment he considers the favorite of his young career - a stunning free-kick goal to cap off a 3-0 win over Inter Miami FC that you can see below captured from a great angle by TopBin90's Jake Sokol.
When asked what he thought were his biggest strengths on the pitch, Poreba shared, “My game IQ. That’s probably one of my biggest strengths.” Poreba continued to describe himself as a technical player that is good with both feet and a strong box-to-box midfielder with good passing and capable of winning duals defensively.
Toni Kroos is a player that Poreba mentioned specifically as someone he looked up to and tried to model his playstyle after. In addition, the Charlotte FC Polish trio of Karol Świderski, Kamil Jóźwiak, and Jan Sobociński have also played a significant role since Poreba arrived in Charlotte. “I talk with them a lot, and they’ve helped me a lot, giving me advice, and they’ve been really supportive of me,” Poreba shared. As a fluent Polish speaker, Poreba quickly built a rapport with the Polish contingent, and they openly welcomed him and tried to guide the young midfielder.
When asked about Poreba’s goals for the season, he responded with an answer fitting of a club captain sharing, “Of course, I have my own individual goals, but at the end of the day, for me, a priority is the team. Our goal is to make playoffs. Then once we make playoffs, the goal's always going to be to win a championship.”
Poreba is confident in his teammates and the staff at Crown Legacy FC to continue the successful season. “We definitely have the roster. We have the players and the coaching staff. It's a collective effort. I think that's the number one priority to win as much as possible.”
There is one victory Poreba hopes to earn slightly more than the rest this season, against Chicago Fire II. Growing up in the Fire Academy, Poreba is familiar with many players in the Fire squad. His friends and family will get the chance to come out and watch him play against his city.
Looking beyond this year, Poreba shared he wants to develop as much as possible and earn a position on the Charlotte FC first team. “I’m just doing my thing – taking care of my body and trying to learn and develop as quickly as I can,” Poreba shared.
Poreba is eligible to represent the United States and Poland internationally as a dual national. I asked him his thoughts on representing a country, and he shared, “That's definitely a major goal of mine. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't, but that would be a huge honor for me.”
David Poreba takes a free kick. (Photo credit Jake Sokol of TopBin90)
Nicknames, Pronunciation, and Hobbies
Outside of soccer, Poreba is a huge American football fan and a massive Chicago Bears fan. He mentioned he is excited to get out and attend some Panthers games this upcoming season, as he arrived after the 2022 season ended. Like many of the other Polish players, the pronunciation of Poreba’s name has been a subject of debate. Sometimes stylized in the Polish manner, Poręba, but more often in the Americanized Poreba, I asked if he has a preference between the two and the proper pronunciation.
The Polish pronunciation of his family name is “Por-emba.” However, he is accustomed to many different pronunciations, including the most commonly used “Por-reba," which he said he prefers.
Poreba also shared that some people shorten his first name to Dave. “I like that one, actually,” Poreba commented on the nickname.
Poreba shared one statement that personifies what he brings to Charlotte FC and Crown Legacy and his commitment:
“I’m going to strive to do everything I can and become the best version of myself always.”