Charlotte (NC) — On Thursday, the Charlotte Independence professional soccer team announced veteran defender Hugh Roberts has signed to the 2019 roster, pending league and federation approval. A 2016 Defender of the Year Finalist and All-League First Team Selection, Roberts has made the USL Championship playoffs every year of his professional career.
“Since I've been in this league for six years now, Charlotte has always been a team that takes care of its veterans and is toward the top of the table,” said Roberts. “The club has a reputation for being great and is always in the playoff hunt.”
“Hugh is a huge addition to our roster,” said Independence General Manager Mike Jeffries. “With his defensive intensity and work rate, he will be a cornerstone for our back group. Hugh’s ability to play out of the back meshes well with our style of play. Equally importantly, he brings a positive locker room presence.”
Roberts, 26, is a daunting presence at center back towering at 6’4”. Last season, the Olney, Md. native started 21 games for a Pittsburgh Riverhounds side which posted a league-best 0.76 goals against average. Over his six-year USL Championship career, Roberts has totalled 131 games played, 9,432 minutes played and five goals. During the 2017 campaign, he lead Bethlehem Steel FC with 112 clearances. A durable defender, Roberts played every minute of the 31-match 2016 season for USL Championship side Richmond Kickers.
“I know previous players that have played for the Independence, and their experiences have all been great,” said Roberts. “That's something that attracted me to come to the organization.”
Roberts played collegiately at George Mason University from 2010-13 recording 69 appearances, 48 starts, six goals and nine assists. During his senior campaign, he was selected to the All-Region second team. From 2012-13, Roberts played two seasons with League Two side Baltimore Bohemians logging 27 appearances and two assists.
Roberts becomes the seventh player under contract for new Head Coach Jim McGuinness’ 2019 squad, joining five returning players and two-time USL Championship MVP Finalist Enzo Martinez. The Independence will return to USL Championship action next spring at the Sportsplex at Matthews. For more information on 2019 Season Memberships, please visit charlotteindependence.com or call the Independence front office at 704-206-1515.