The 2018 USL season has not yet kicked off, but for the Charlotte Independence, it is roster building time. As reported last week by the Wave, there are two Independence players currently on trial with the Colorado Rapids. Whether Enzo Martinez or Joel Johnson eventually make the Burgundy Boys is unclear, but what is clear is that Charlotte is in roster building mode with the following announcements this week.
Kevan George, Defensive Midfielder
The Independence announced on January 29th that they had signed the George—most recently of the Jacksonville Armada (NASL)—to a contract. George is a member of the Trinidad & Tobago national team and played his college ball at University of Central Florida. He has spent his entire professional career in the United States. George will be charged with helping to improve the defense for Charlotte as they look to return to USL playoffs for the third consecutive year.
Brandon Miller, Goalkeeper
It’s not every day that you can say you signed a Goalkeeper of the Year, but in the case of the Independence, they did just that. 2015 USL Goalkeeper of the year and Charlotte native Brandon Miller was signed last week to a contract. Miller has been excellent throughout his USL career and Charlotte was in need of a shot stopper after Cody Mizell departed last season.
Captain Bilal Duckett Returns
Fan favorite and team Captain Bilal Duckett has signed a contract to play for Charlotte for a fourth year. Duckett is the franchise leader in games and minutes played and will anchor the Independence back line. Duckett has three goals in four years with the Independence and will be charged with helping Charlotte win their first league title.
With these three transactions, the Independence roster is now at eight players under contract for the 2018 season. There should be a few players from Commerce City that will spend time on loan in Charlotte, but it is still early to get a good read on who that may be. Regardless, more player moves are on the way as Charlotte will look to be a competitive force in the Eastern Conference of USL in 2018.