Charlotte, N.C. — The Charlotte Independence added Charlotte, North Carolina native and 2015 USL Goalkeeper of the Year, Brandon Miller to the team on Wednesday, pending league and federation approval. Miller currently holds the USL records for most shutouts in a single season (13) and goals against average (0.54).
A Charlotte Country Day High School alumni and Charlotte Soccer Academy product, Miller embraces the opportunity to return to play for his professional, hometown team.
“Coming home to play in front of my friends, family, and people I grew up with is something that I always wanted to do,” said Miller. “It's something important to me and playing for my hometown is something I hold close to my heart. That's what I'm excited for the most.”
With the Harrisburg City Islanders, Miller nabbed USL Team of the Week Honors three times last season. He also won the fan vote for his Week 26 USL Save of the Week versus FC Cincinnati. Inadvertently, Miller experienced Charlotte Independence history with the grand opening of the Sportsplex at Matthews, on May 17th as the starting away keeper.
“I felt fortunate to be there,” said the 28-year-old, Miller. “Being a Charlotte native and being there the night they opened up the Sportsplex [at Matthews]. I had a lot of friends and family there hoping to see me do well, but also, to enjoy the environment that the club and the fans brought.”
Before his stints with Orange County Blues FC and Harrisburg City Islanders, Miller won a USL Cup with Rochester Rhinos in 2015. Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries says Miller’s championship pedigree goes a long way in filling a key position for the club.
“Being able to add the leadership and experience of someone who has led his team to a USL Championship is a huge plus for us,” said Jeffries. “Brandon's quickness coming off his line suits our style of play. He is an excellent shot stopper with quick reflexes.”
“We’re excited about the addition of Brandon,” said Independence Goalkeeper Coach Joel Tyson. “He’s a talented and motivated individual that’s had some reputable success as a starting goalkeeper in this league. To get him back to his hometown club is a success and I personally look forward to working with him.”
Familiar as former Rochester Rhinos teammates and offseason workout partners, Miller has built a rapport with newly re-signed Independence center back Bilal Duckett. The pair aided in the fundraising sexual violence prevention through the Tackling Consent initiative last season, and plan to continue their work.
“I think it's a great cause,” said Miller. “If you look at the social environment today, it's definitely something that is important to teach young kids more about consent. It was something that I felt really passionate about.”
Miller becomes the eighth player under contract for the 2018 Charlotte Independence. He joins Trinidad & Tobago international midfielder Kevan George, who was added to the roster this week. The Independence will kickoff the 2018 season at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday, March 17th versus Ottawa Fury FC. 2018 Season Memberships are available online and by calling 704-206-1515. For details on the full 2018 USL regular season schedule, please visit charlotteindependence.com.