March 20, 2021 (CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte Independence announced today the signing of midfielder Thomas de Villardi for the 2021 season, pending league and federation approval.
“I am pleased to announce Thomas as an addition to our roster,” said Charlotte Independence General Manager and Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “I look forward to seeing him buzz up and down the left flank. His attacking style and passing quality will add to our ability getting forward and creating on both sides of the field. More importantly, he brings a solid defensive mentality and quality to help solidify our back line.”
De Villardi, 26, was originally drafted by Minnesota United FC as the No. 42 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Prior to joining the Independence, the midfielder moved from Minnesota United FC to USL Championship side Austin Bold FC in 2019. He played there for two seasons with 24 league appearances and 17 starts.
“I am very excited to play for Charlotte, especially in the new stadium,” said de Villardi. “I am ready to give all I got on the field for the fans and the community. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
De Villardi played collegiately at Duquesne University and the University of Delaware, spending two years with each program. De Villardi was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Conference selection following his junior and senior seasons at Delaware. He was named the CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Performer in 2016 and selected to the CAA All-Tournament team in 2015 and 2016. Following his freshman season at Duquesne, the midfielder was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team. He finished his college career with four goals and 16 assists.
The France native spent his youth career with En Avant de Guingamp of Ligue 1, the premier division in France, prior to beginning his collegiate playing career in the United States.
De Villardi also spent time on the U23 sides of Seattle Sounders FC and New York Red Bulls.
De Villardi joins Jake Areman, Brandt Bronico (on loan from Charlotte FC), Clay Dimick, Junior Etou, Enzo Martinez, Brandon Miller, Austin Pack, Marcelo Palomino (on loan from Houston Dynamo FC), Hugh Roberts, Kevin Riascos and Valentin Sabella (currently loaned to Cancun FC) on the list of players confirmed for the 2021 season, as the club continues to negotiate with additional players.
Name: Thomas de Villardi
Birthdate: March 27, 1994 (age: 26)
Birthplace: Vincennes, France
Height: 6' 1"
CURRENT 2021 CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE ROSTER
Goalkeeper – Brandon Miller, Austin Pack
Defender – Clay Dimick, Kevin Riascos, Hugh Roberts, Thomas de Villardi
Midfielder – Jake Areman, Brandt Bronico, Junior Etou, Enzo Martinez, Marcelo Palomino, Valentin Sabella
The Independence will make the 2021 campaign its first season at the brand new American Legion Memorial Stadium. The $40 million entire rebuild of the historic venue which began last September is close to completion and is set to open a new chapter for the Jacks.
Located in Uptown Charlotte, the new venue will have a capacity of 10,500 including standing area, and the type of amenities that have become standard at new venues across the Championship in recent years. Among them, a first for the Independence, will be a full video scoreboard and views of the surrounding city skyline that will make for a memorable experience on game-nights and at other events.
2021 Season Tickets are now on sale to the general public here.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE: The Charlotte Independence professional soccer team joined the United Soccer League (USL) Championship as an expansion team in September 2014. An ownership group led by Jim McPhilliamy, the President & Managing Partner of Major League Lacrosse’s Charlotte Hounds, acquired the USL franchise rights from the Charlotte Eagles. McPhilliamy and his investment group founded Queen City Sports Club with the goal of making Charlotte a better place to live through annual increases in both the quality and quantity of events that are provided for the community.
In the fall of 2018, Queen City Sports Club and the Charlotte Independence signed a 10-year lease to move to American Legion Memorial Stadium following a revitalization of the historic landmark set for the spring of 2021. The Independence is focused on building the profile of the club through culture, community and performance as the team moves to American Legion Memorial Stadium. For details on 2021 Season Memberships, visit charlotteindependence.com or call 704-206-1515.