Charlotte, NC — The Charlotte Independence have exercised the options for Enzo Martinez, Alex Martinez, Joel Johnson, and Callum Ross, returning the four players to the 2018 roster. The Independence are in discussions with and hope to bring back additional players from the 2017 team.
Back-to-back USL MVP Finalist and 2017 USL First-Team selection, Enzo Martinez returns to the Independence after the 27 year-old forward finished tied-second in the USL with 16 goals and paced the team with five assists last season. Martinez was selected as the USL’s Player of the Week three times in 2017, more than any other player. Including the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game versus the Charlotte Eagles, Martinez had five multi-goal games including the franchise’s second hat-trick versus eventual USL Champions Louisville City FC.
Returning for his fourth season with the Independence, Alex Martinez looks to build on an outstanding 2017 season, which he posted three goals and four assists. The versatile midfielder ranked top six on the team in a number of categories including minutes played, starts, goals, assists, tackles, passes, crosses, duels won, and fouls won.
Named an USL Top Five Defender of the Year, Johnson rejoins the Independence after leading the team in crosses last season with 99 -- more than double the next most. The former right back for Valencia of the Spanish first division La Liga, enters his third season with the Independence already logging 4,871 minutes played and five assists over the past two seasons.
Ross returns to the Independence after a successful rookie season. The Wingate University alumni recorded 2,112 minutes played in 29 games with 25 starts. Ross, the Charlotte Independence fan selection for Rookie of the Year, aided one of the best offenses in the Eastern Conference with one goal and one assists. Proving to be a key figure in the midfield, the 23 year-old lead the Independence in aerial duels won with 55 and ranked second on the team in tackles won.
The Independence will return to action this spring at the Sportsplex at Matthews for 18 home games. Season memberships are available today up to 40% off gameday pricing and include a Jorge Herrera bobblehead (while supplies last), three-game exchange program, and access to exclusive team events. Call 704-206-1515 or visit charlotteindependence.com for more information .