|Pack's back, this time as Charlotte Independence keeper|
|Former 49er adds familiarity to the roster|
|Published Monday, February 10, 2020 1:09 pm|
|CHARLOTTE 49ERS SPORTS INFORMAITON|
|Charlotte 49ers alumnus Austin Pack is back in town as the Charlotte Independence's new goalkeeper. Pack, 25, will compete for playing time with 2019 Brandon Miller.|
Austin Pack is coming back to Charlotte.
The former Charlotte 49ers goalkeeper (2012-15) signed with the Charlotte Independence. Pack left school to play for Puerto Rico FC in the North American Soccer League, which canceled its 2018 season and has not resumed. He spent two years in the NASL, then he moved to the USL with Portland Timbers II. He returned to the East Coast with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last season.
“This year, I finally made my way back to Charlotte,” Pack said. “Every year, it’s been on the table to come back to Charlotte and things finally worked themselves out. Now I’m back in familiar territory.”
Said Independence coach Mike Jeffries: “It’s nice to be able to pick up a goalkeeper who is still relatively young at 25. It’s nice to be able to pick up a goalkeeper with his experience.”
Pack’s final days with the 49ers overlapped with the emergence of the Independence, who played their first USL season in 2015, and their inaugural match at the 49ers’ Transamerica Field. Despite the short overlap, Pack trained with the Jacks.
“I’ve known Mike since I was 19-20 [years old],” Pack said. “I was a free agent this year and we spoke to each other, and we worked something out.”
Pack joins veteran starting goalkeeper Brandon Miller with the Jacks, which Jeffries noted Pack will contend for playing time.
“We want to have competition,” Jeffries said. “Goalkeeping wise, we felt Austin is a guy who has not only excellent qualities as a goalkeeper, but a good mentality and attitude. He understands the role coming in, and is certainly excited to compete.”
Said Pack: “Brandon has a lot of experience in the league. We know each other. We’ve trained together before, and whatever happens this year, it’s the two of us, and we’re just trying to win games. We’re going to compete and push each other.”
Charlotte’s preseason dates: Feb. 12 versus Tormenta FC (USL Leauge One) in Columbia, South Carolina at 5 p.m., North Carolina FC on Feb. 15 at the Sportsplex at 2 p.m., NISA club Stumptown Athletic on Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. at the Sportsplex, League One side Greenville Triumph SC on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. and at Atlanta on Feb. 29 at 2 p.m.
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