CHARLOTTE, NC (July 27, 2016) — The Charlotte Independence today announced an amateur contract signing with Charlotte Soccer Academy goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg. The 17 year old has agreed to terms that also will keep his NCAA eligibility in tact. He has been training with the Independence for a few weeks now.
“The opportunity to have Andrew as part of our group is fantastic for us,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “He is a top local prospect and a goalkeeper with tremendous potential. As a young goalkeeper, Andrew has excellent technical ability and plays with a lot of poise and confidence. He will benefit from being with pros daily and adapting to the increased speed of the game and decision making. The ability to work with young players of Andrew’s caliber is part of the Independence commitment to bring the top local players into the Independence family.”
Pannenberg is an outstanding local product who has spent the past nine years training at Charlotte Soccer Academy, most recently with the U-17/18 Development Academy Team. This past season, 2015-16, he played 22 games, including 19 starts, and compiled a 57.6 save percentage.
During the 2014-15 season, Pannenberg was voted to Best Starting XI (U-16) at the U.S. Development Academy Winter Showcase, and on April 16 was named U.S. Development Academy Player of the Week, playing up as a U-18 in a 2-1 win over Orlando City. He has twice been called up the U.S. Men’s U-17 National Team and was twice nominated for Charlotte Soccer Gala Player of the Year awards.
“On behalf of everyone here at Charlotte Soccer Academy, we want to congratulate Andrew on this achievement,” said Executive Director Brad Wylde. “He is a tremendous talent and above all else a hard-working, dedicated, humble boy who deserves this wonderful opportunity with the Charlotte Independence.”
An incoming senior at Ardrey Kell High School, Pannenberg will graduate in 2017 and has committed to Wake Forest University.
“Andrew is deserving of being on the Independence roster,” said General Manager Tom Engstrom. “We feel this is a good step for Andrew to continue his development. Hopefully we will see more and more local Academy players on the Independence roster in the future.”
The Independence (8-6-4) on Saturday, July 30, face a rematch with FC Montreal (2-15-1) at Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard. It is the second match in a four-game road trip for Charlotte. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00pm ET and the match is available live at youtube.com/USL. The Independence return home to Ramblewood Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 13.