The Colorado Rapids USL affiliate Charlotte Independence takes the pitch this Friday at 5:30PM MDT against Charleston Battery for their first game as a professional soccer team. This is an exciting day for those in Charlotte and also here in Denver as many Rapids supporters will be taking a close look at the team and what they are about.
There are currently three Rapids players on loan with the Independence-- John Berner, Caleb Calvert and Charles Eloundou with all of them seeing time this preseason. It appears that there is a good chance that Berner and Eloundou will start this Friday as predicted by our friends at @crowntownsoccer:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>LRT: Final pieces of my projected StartingXI have been signed: Finley, Estridge, Cox. Kansaye midfield depth. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QCTID?src=hash">#QCTID</a> <a href="http://t.co/fkAWIsix89">pic.twitter.com/fkAWIsix89</a></p>— Crown Town Soccer (@crowntownsoccer) <a href="https://twitter.com/crowntownsoccer/status/580799874259636224">March 25, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
For the development of Berner and Eloundou, this is terrific news. Any time that they get will only aid their development but also the Independence and the Rapids. And although it looks like Calvert will not be starting, hopefully he will see some time as the 18 year old striker has shown promise, but needs games.
So who else is on the roster for Charlotte? As of Wednesday night (when I am writing this), here is who is on the team:
There appears to be a nice sprinkling of players who have MLS experience which will really aid in the development and progression of this team. I am especially excited to see Finley play and to see what he has left in the tank. He has spent time with Columbus Crew SC and Chivas USA, but never really seemed to find a home.
For those that are interested in watching the Independence-Battery match on Friday, kick-off is at 5:30PM and the livestream is below. The Battery are 1-0-0 after defeating Toronto FC II in their first match.