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Dylan Mitchiner moves from Independence academy to top team
Defender 1 of 4 signees from youth ranks
Published Monday, July 13, 2020 5:30 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Dylan Mitchiner went from the Charlotte Independence academy system to the USL Championship program, one of four youth players to sign with the top team.

Dylan Mitchiner is eyeing first team minutes with the Charlotte Independence.

He is the fourth Charlotte Independence SC academy player to sign an academy contract with the first team this season. With the USL Championship season resuming over the weekend, Mitchiner could make his professional debut on July 22 when the Independence travel to Miami FC.

“Just getting in, getting minutes [with the first team], starting to get tackles against bigger guys, learning what they are about, and trying to adapt my style to try and fit the team is really what I’ve felt helps me realize there are opportunities for me to get into games and see some minutes,” Mitchiner said.

Said coach Mike Jeffries: “He’s a solid center back, which is a position of need for us. He’s a big, physical defender who has good defensive principals, and can handle guys physically in the game. He’s a capable passer, and for guys like that, it’s just a question sometimes of getting up to the speed of things. He’s shown over the little piece he’s been with us that he can handle the game around him.”

Mitchiner, a defender, joins goalkeeper Lucas Hatsios as the most recent players to sign an academy contract. Prior to the March 12 suspension of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, defenders Owen Barber and Joey Skinner signed academy deals.

Veteran center back Hugh Roberts has served as a mentor for Mitchiner as he adapts to the first team.

“Seeing how Hugh handles himself through training has made me embody my game around him,” Mitchiner said. “Seeing how he organizes everything, how he reacts to certain things during training. It helps me know where I need to be and what I need to work toward.”

Mitchiner grew up playing for the Carolina Rapids, now Charlotte Independence SC. At 13 years old, he began playing for the then-U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

“That was the top level, and where you needed to be as a kid,” Mitchiner said. “It showed me where I stood among the region.”

Growing up in Charlotte, Mitchiner experienced the surge in the sport’s popularity. The Charlotte Eagles went from being the only professional soccer club in town when he was born to multiple clubs from USL League Two to Major League Soccer. The landscape has changed.

“Charlotte is a city that’s up-and-coming,” Mitchiner said. “A lot of people want to live here. A lot of people want to move here. It’s really cool to see the game I’ve love my whole life grow among the city I’ve lived in my whole life. There are opportunities here if I want to stay.”

First, though, Mitchiner has to make a trip to New York, where he committed to play for Army.

“My whole family background from my dad’s side is the military—they all served in the Army,” Mitchiner said. “My cousin just graduated from West Point. He played soccer there, too. I know the ins and outs of the campus. I talked to the coaches a lot, and they expressed a lot of interest in me. I love what they have been able to do over the last couple years. I love the area, and that’s what I see myself doing in the future.”



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