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Herrera Showing No Signs of Slowing

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 01/04/17, 10:29AM EST

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Colombian has maintain standard through Independence’s rise


Photo courtesy Charlotte Independence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – At 36 years of age, you’d think Jorge Herrera’s career might be close to winding down, but that’s very far from the case.

In fact, Herrera’s fitness provided little worry to Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries when the club approached the Colombian playmaker about returning to the club for a third season.

“His fitness level and daily work rate would be top shelf for a 29-year-old, so we do not focus on his age,” Jeffries said in the club’s press release. “In addition to his lengthy Charlotte experience, Jorge works to be a mentor to younger players in our group through his professionalism and his example.”

One of the USL’s all-time leaders in both regular-season goals (40) and assists (25), it’s that level of professionalism that has made him a major figure in Charlotte’s growing soccer scene. Herrera first arrived in North Carolina in 2007 when he joined the Charlotte Eagles, and has been a fixture in the city almost ever since.


Photo courtesy Charlotte Independence

Herrera has made 140 regular-season appearances in the USL, including all 30 regular-season contests in 2016 as the Independence reached the USL Cup Playoffs for the first time. With a young core of players led by USL Most Valuable Player Finalist Enzo Martinez carrying a greater load, Herrera may not have started as much as in years past, but his output remained high, with seven goals and two assists in just over 1,100 minutes of action.

“Last season was a different kind of season for me,” Herrera said. “I think my main input to our group was to be available for the coaching staff whenever they needed me during every game of the season.”

While Herrera was doing everything that the Independence needed from him on and off the field, away from Ramblewood Sports Complex he’s also continued to pass on his expertise to the next generation of players as a coach.

“It has been an honor for me, to have this opportunity to serve our community in Charlotte,” Herrera told USLSoccer.com last October. “To be honest, coaching was not one of the things that I had in mind when I moved here, but it has been a great experience, and I’m enjoying it more every day.”

Hispanic Heritage Month: Jorge Herrera, Charlotte Independence

Having played a key role in the Eagles’ run to the 2013 USL Cup Final, Herrera is hungry to bring the same type of success to the Independence. With a large contingent of players set to build on the club’s fifth-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2016, Herrera and his cohorts appear ready to be a serious threat when the new season kicks off, and continue to thrill the club’s passionate support.

“Having a big group of guys coming back is a big plus for the team. It is easier heading into the preseason with a group of friends that you have worked with for a whole season,” Herrera said. “It is [also] an honor and privilege to have a group of supporters behind our backs pushing us forward and recognizing all the work we put in during the week. We would love to see that group of fans continue to grow and to continue being a vital part of our Independence family.”

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