CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Independence announced today the signing of Joel Johnson for the 2023 season. Johnson played with the Independence from 2016-2021 and made 150 appearances. In 2022, Johnson played at Hartford Athletic in USL Championship. He appeared in 34 matches, scored four goals and earned an assist.
“The return of Joel marks a great day for us. From his start with the Independence seven years ago, Joel has proven to be one of the top outside backs in the USL,” Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “He brings energy daily and has a tremendous engine and work rate. Equally as important, he adds quality to our possession with his ability to find passes, beat players, and make plays in the final third. Most importantly, Joel is a fantastic locker room presence – always positive, but also able to push players to be better.”
Johnson scored a combined three goals and earned 14 assists across six seasons with the Jacks. All three of his goals came during the 2021 season, including a goal in the 2021 USL Championship Playoffs against Memphis 901 FC in the club’s first ever playoff win.
Before Johnson joined the Independence, he played with Real Jaén of the Spanish Segunda Division B in 2015. He scored one goal in 16 appearances with Real Jaén. He played with Real Madrid C from 2012-14 and made a combined 50 appearances with one goal.
Johnson made his professional debut with Valencia B in Spain at 17 in 2007. He made his La Liga debut in 2010. Johnson played a combined 44 matches with Valencia B in the Spanish third division.
“I’m happy to return home and excited about the team that is being assembled,” Johnson said. “This year can be ours without a doubt.”
The Charlotte Independence kick off the 2023 USL League One season against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, March 18 at American Legion Memorial Stadium. Season tickets are on sale now at charlotteindependence.com.
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