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Independence Add Familiar Face

By James Thomas, 03/14/17, 3:45PM EDT


The Charlotte Independence sign one of Coach Jeffries' former players and a Southern Derby foe.

Charlotte (N.C.) — On Tuesday, the Charlotte Independence professional soccer team announced the signing of midfielder, Zev Taublieb, pending league and federation approval.

“The professionalism here is very high,” said Taublieb. “I really felt that by coming here, I could grow as a player and help the team reach their big goals of winning a championship. The players and the coaching staff are a great bunch of guys.”

In 2016, Taublieb played with Wilmington Hammerheads FC starting 21 matches and logging 1067 minutes. A year prior, the New York City native played his rookie campaign with Sacramento Republic FC scoring one goal. In 2013, Taublieb played for Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries at the PDL’s Des Moines Menace.

"Zev's got a great soccer brain," said Jeffries. "He understands the game and reads plays pretty well. I think his movement and ability to connect in the middle of the field are big positives."

In his collegiate career at Valparaiso University, Taublieb appeared in 65 matches, starting 59. A captain his senior year for Valpo, the team finished with an 8-5-6 record, the most wins for the program since 2011. That season Taublieb was named Second Team All-Horizon League, NSCAA Scholar All-North/Central Region Second Team, and First-Team All-American by the Jewish Sports Review.

The 23 year-old has prior connections with a couple Independence teammates. His first career goal came off a rebounded shot by former Sacramento and now Charlotte midfielder, David Estrada. Additionally, Taublieb signed his first career with Sacramento Republic contract at the same time as Independence team captain, Bilal Duckett.

“I remember the David Estrada goal very well because it was my first professional goal and because when it happened I should've been running to the near-post and David beat me to it,” said Taublieb. “Luckily, I didn't have to do anything and I got to tap it in.

“Bilal and I were together when I was at Sac[ramento],” continued Taublieb. “Coach Jeffries called me because I played under Mike [Jeffries] at Des Moines and asked me what I thought of Bilal. Obviously, I said great things because he's a great player and Mike knows what he's doing.

“Now I’m here with both of them. It was unexpected.”