The USL season kicks off this weekend, with the Colorado Rapids’ affiliate getting three home games this month, starting on Saturday against Ottawa Fury FC. You’ve probably heard by now that the Rapids recently loaned four players to the Charlotte Independence, but here are a few other things you need to know about the USL side.
- The Independence play at Sportsplex at Matthews, a multi-field complex in the Charlotte suburb of Matthews, North Carolina. This is the second “permanent” home for the Independence as they spent the early part of their franchise at the Ramblewood Soccer Complex.
- The Independence head coach is Mike Jeffries, who is the former gaffer of the Dallas Burn and is the only coach that Charlotte has had.
- This is the fourth year for the Independence as they will be looking to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year. They have finished fifth in two straight seasons, which was good enough to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, they have not progressed past the first round of those playoffs.
- A number of Rapids players have spent time in Charlotte on loan, including regular first teamers Marlon Hairston and Dominique Badji. In addition to Hairston and Badji, a number of current and former Rapids players have gone on loan in Charlotte, such as Caleb Calvert, John Berner, Dennis Castillo, and Zach Pfeffer to name a few
- Cody Mizell spent time on loan with the Rapids last year and was the regular starter for the Independence as a goalkeeper in 2017.
- Enzo Martinez was the second Independence player signed to a contract by the Rapids. The first was Ben Newnam.
- Charlotte’s all time USL record is: 37W-27D-26L
- Why the Jacks? This comes from Captain James Jack. He risked life and limb to deliver the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which was the first document to recommend independence from England, and was supposedly signed in Charlotte in 1775.