Defender previously played for the Independence from 2019-2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 16, 2024) – The Charlotte Independence announced today the signing of defender Hugh Roberts to the USL League One squad for the 2024 season. Roberts previously played with the Jacks from 2019 to 2021.
“I am excited to welcome Hugh Roberts back to Charlotte,” Head Coach Mike Jeffries expressed. “Hugh was a mainstay of our back line for some of our best seasons – he not only brings athleticism and strong defensive qualities to the group but his experience will bolster our defensive organization and his composure in possession will aid in our build up play.”
Roberts rejoins the team from USL Championship side Monterey Bay FC. He signed with the Crisp-and-Kelp prior to the club’s inaugural season in 2022 and served as team captain. Roberts started and played in 62 games across two seasons. He scored four goals for the club, including the game-winning goal in Monterey Bay’s first-ever win in the final minute of regulation. In 2023, Roberts ranked seventh in USL Championship in clearances with 144. He led his side in clearances, blocks, interceptions, and aerial duels won.
A team leader for the Independence for three seasons, Roberts made 82 appearances and scored six goals for Charlotte from 2019-2021. Roberts led the squad in minutes (2,990), passing accuracy (89.1%), clearances (129), and blocks (24) in 2021. During the shortened 2020 season, the defender played every single minute of all 17 matches, including extra time in the USL Championship playoffs. He ranked first on the team in clearances, blocks, and aerial duels won in 2020 and 2019.
“I’m very excited to be returning to the pitch where my heart belongs,” Roberts stated. “Coach Jeffries and the Independence have always made me feel at home which was important for my family. I want a championship more than ever, and I’m determined to bring one to the Queen City. This is going to be an exciting year. I can’t wait!”
Prior to joining the Independence, Roberts made 29 appearances and scored a goal in extra time of the USL playoffs in 2018 for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. He played the 2017 season with Bethlehem Steel FC, appearing in 26 games, scoring 1 goal, and ranking second on the squad in minutes (2,091).
Roberts earned his first professional contract with Richmond Kickers in 2014. He made 84 appearances for the Kickers across three seasons from 2014-2016. Roberts’ final season with the club was a breakout year as he was named to the USL All-League First Team and was a Defender of the Year Finalist.
At the collegiate level, Roberts attended George Mason University from 2010-13 where he recorded 69 appearances, 48 starts, six goals and nine assists. During his senior campaign, he was selected to the All-Region second team. From 2012-13, Roberts played with USL League Two side Baltimore Bohemians logging 27 appearances and two assists.
Roberts is the fifth defender announced for the 2024 squad, joining Nick Spielman, Shalom Dutey, Clay Dimick, and Denzel Akyeampong.
The 2024 season begins on Saturday, March 16 as the Charlotte Independence face One Knoxville SC in the home opener. Season tickets for the Charlotte Independence 10th Anniversary season are on sale now with packages as low as $5 per game. To see all exclusive Season Ticket Member benefits and purchase your tickets today, visit charlotteindependence.com/seasontickets.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE:
The Charlotte Independence is a Division III professional men’s soccer team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The club, founded in 2014, currently competes in USL League One and plays all home games at the newly renovated American Legion Memorial Stadium. As part of the Queen City Soccer Club, our mission is to make Charlotte a better place to live through sports. For information on club news, season tickets and more, visit charlotteindependence.com.