CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Independence have announced the signing of Spanish defender Joel Johnson, who becomes the 12th new addition to the club’s squad for this season.
A native of Valencia, Spain, Johnson came through the Academy system of BBVA La Liga club Valencia CF, and made his professional debut aged 17 for Valencia CF B in the Tercera Division in 2009. Johnson helped the club achieve promotion to the Segunda Division in 2010-11, and also appeared for Valencia CF in La Liga, before joining Real Madrid C in 2012.
Last season he joined Segunda Division club Real Jaén, for which he made 16 appearances and recorded 1,267 minutes. He will now bring his experience to the Independence, with Coach Mike Jeffries excited by what Johnson will offer the club.
“Joel possesses excellent one-v-one quality and pace, and is comfortable at any of the outside positions,” said Jeffries. “He is very effective as an attacking outside player and will provide an option to stretch opposing defenses. His background and developmental experience provide a great technical foundation. Equally important, he competes well and is hard to beat defensively. We got to know him during preseason and his upbeat personality fits well with the group.”
The Independence will visit FC Cincinnati on Saturday night looking to build on a 2-1 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders this past Saturday at Ramblewood Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.