Enzo Martinez, a former star at North Carolina and Rock Hill’s Northwestern High, has signed with the United Soccer League’s Charlotte Independence.
Martinez, a midfielder who scored six goals last season for the North American Soccer League’s Carolina RailHawks, is the ninth player signed by the Independence, which will play in the USL for the first time this season. Martinez was a key player on North Carolina’s 2011 NCAA championship team.
Martinez joins goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, striker Jorge Herrera, midfielder Ben Newnam, defender Patrick Slogic, defender Andrew Ribeiro, midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo, defender Brandon Fricke and midfielder Jack Metcalf on the Independence roster. The Independence is also close to signing Martinez’s brother Alex, a midfielder who also played with the RailHawks last season and is a former N.C. State player.
The Independence, which tied North Carolina 0-0 in its first exhibition last Saturday at Providence Day, will play at Winthrop at 8 p.m. Sunday. The remainder of the Independence’s preseason schedule: at Davidson, March 12; at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL), March 14; at Charlotte 49ers (Transamerica Field), March 17; at Carolina RailHawks, March 21. The Independence is playing the exhibitions with several training-camp players who haven’t signed with the team.
The Independence opens its regular season March 27 at Transamerica Field against the Charleston Battery. The Independence is finalizing plans to play the remainder of its home games in a temporary stadium at Ramblewood Soccer Complex.