CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Independence announced Wednesday, the signing of former Wake Forest University defender, Jared Odenbeck, pending USL and US Soccer approval.
“I really like the group,” Odenbeck said. “One of the big things for me was having veteran guys on the team that I can learn from and ask questions.”
Odenbeck appeared in 13 games last season for the Demon Deacons and was a member of the defensive unit that allowed just 12 goals during the 25-game season. The team also recorded a program-best with 855+ consecutive shutout minutes. Wake Forest later went on to advance to the semifinals of the Division I NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship.
“Playing at Wake Forest means that he's been in a good environment for a number of years,” Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “It means that he's competed for NCAA Championships and that's a plus. We continue to push local guys as well and he's a Charlotte guy.”
Odenbeck, a Charlotte native, is a product of Charlotte Soccer Academy and an alumnus of Charlotte Christian High School. The first-year pro commented on what it means to play for his hometown team.
“It's really a special opportunity to play in the place that you grew up,” Odenbeck said. “It was always something that was in the back of my mind when I was playing, but when I got the offer, it is something I couldn't really turn down.”
Odenbeck’s signing comes off a successful weekend appearance in the Independence’s second preseason game of the year against the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill with Jeffries saying that Odenbeck had “impressed”, specifically with the way he built play out of the back.
“He's really clean with his passes,”Jeffries said. “He's a great fit with what we like to do possession-wise.”
The Charlotte Independence open their USL regular season on Saturday, April 1st against the Charleston Battery at Transamerica Field on the campus of UNC Charlotte.