Charlotte Independence: A Q&A on Jim McGuinness’ new team

Former Donegal manager has taken over at the US side on a three-year contract

Charlotte Independence is where Jim McGuinness will continue his managerial career. Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Charlotte Independence is where Jim McGuinness will continue his managerial career. Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

 

From winning the All-Ireland with Donegal to taking over at Charlotte Independence in the United States, the last few years have been quite a journey for Jim McGuinness.

On Friday morning it was confirmed that he would take charge of the North Carolina club with immediate effect on a three-year contract.

But just who are Charlotte Independence? Let’s take a closer look.

Where do they play?

The team are located in the city of Charlotte in North Carolina and play in the nearby Sportsplex in Matthews where they have a 2,300-seater stadium.

What division are they in?

The Jacks - as they’re known - play in the United Soccer League Championship (USL) which is the second tier of football in the country, one below the MLS.

How did they do last season?

2018 wasn’t the greatest season for the Jacks as they failed to reach the playoffs in the eastern conference after losing 12 games, drawing 12 and winning 10.

What are their crowds like?

League of Ireland-ish. Last year the average attendance at the Sportsplex was just over 1,600 and it has regularly stayed around that for the last few years.

Any famous players?

Not quite, although the squad is quite multinational. French, Swiss, Zambians, Ugandans, Liberians and Jamaicans complement a healthy number of Americans. Last season former Shamrock Rovers, Derry and Sporting Fingal striker Eamon Zayed turned out for the Jacks before transferring to Chattanooga Red Wolves in this current off season.

So when does the new season start?

The 2019 campaign will get underway in March and run through to October with the playoffs then going on until November.

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