CHARLOTTE, N.C.– The Charlotte Independence announced Wednesday that midfielders Enzo Martinez and Alex Martinez will return for the 2017 season for the second year of their multi-year contract. This will be the brothers’ third season playing for the Independence.
The team-MVP and USL-MVP finalist, Enzo is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he scored a team-leading nine goals and added five assists.
“Enzo is the engine of this team. He’s so competitive,” said Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “He was dynamic in every game and was a factor in every game. Not only was he our MVP, but he was nominated for League-MVP, which I think is a tremendous credit to him.”
The 26-year-old veteran says that he aspires to make another push for League-MVP, but he has another goal that takes precedence.
“I’ll take one trophy at the end of the year over a hundred awards for myself, in my heart I feel that way” Enzo said. “I’d rather win a championship for this city. That means so much more to me, to the team, to the community, than just having an MVP player.”
Enzo will make that USL Championship run next season alongside returning teammate and brother, Alex Martinez.
Alex recorded one goal and one assist in 2016, but was hampered by a broken foot injury he suffered in pre-season that caused him to miss the first fifteen games of the season.
“It was frustrating to say the least. I wanted to come back as quick as possible and knowing that I wasn’t fully recovered and [being] 100% healthy was also very frustrating,” said Alex.
This will be the third consecutive year the brothers of Rock Hill, S.C. compete on the same professional team.
“It’s a unique situation for me to deal with. Both those guys are so competitive and they get after it. They really want to win,” said Jeffries. “It’s quite fun. They’re inseparable on and off the field and it’s very enjoyable to see.”
The Martinez brothers say they couldn’t write a better script for themselves.
“For us this situation is ideal. It’s as close to perfect as we can ever get. We get to do what we love,” said Enzo. “We get to do it in the community we absolutely love and I get to do it with my best friend; my brother.”
During the offseason, the Martinez’s plan to stick around the Charlotte area and continue their community work, coaching, and training at Performance Unlimited with Independence Strength and Conditioning Coach John Lytton.
“I currently coach at Discoveries Soccer Club and I love coaching and giving back to the amazing community that gave me so much,” said Alex. “I want to do whatever I can to grow soccer in the city and inspire the youth. I am extremely invested in helping the Charlotte Independence grow as an organization.”