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Dave Carton named head coach of Charlotte Independence 2
Team debuts in USL League Two's 2021 campaign
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2021
by Ashley Mahoney

Dave Carton (right) has been named head coach of Charlotte Independence 2, which will debut in USL League Two in 2021. He is also technical director for the youth side.

Charlotte has another USL League Two side.

Charlotte Independence 2 will play its inaugural season under the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club banner but work closely with the USL Championship side of the same name to help amateur players gain professional environment experience. The former was established in 2019 as a large scale youth club combining Lake Norman, Carolina Rapids and Discoveries affiliating with the USL Championship side.

Dave Carton has been named the USL League Two side’s head coach effective immediately. The 15-year coach is also technical director for the youth side, where he oversees curriculum and player development. Carton also coached with Discoveries for 12 years prior to the merger, serving as academy director, director of coaching and executive director.

Carton’s credentials include a United States Soccer Federation A license, United Soccer Coaches Premier license and a master coach diploma from the United Soccer Coaches. 

“I’m very proud to take on the role of head coach, and to lead the program in what will be our club’s first year in the league,” Carton said in a statement. “I have always felt that this phase of a player’s development has been underserved in recent times, and I am very excited that our club can provide this platform for our players. This is an excellent league, which will expose our players to the next step in their development. This program is an integral part of what makes our club unique in our soccer community, and I look forward to working with the players and staff to make a very real impact in this league.” 

Said Independence SC CEO Thomas Finlay: “Dave is a natural choice for the position. He is qualified, soccer smart, and motivated, and will play a significant role in how we integrate our youth club with the pro team as well as unifying the soccer community. This is purely a reflection of the club’s commitment to player development for all players.” 

The goal is to use Independence 2 as a bridge between the youth side and the professional team.

“The goal of the program is to link and connect the work we are doing with the Academy, with what [coach] Mike [Jeffries] is doing with the first team,” Carton said. “We will build the squad primarily around top Academy players and Independence SC Alumni that are currently competing in their college programs. The aim here is to knit the club together, building on an already existing emotional connection, but also provide a feeling of belonging among the players that is very often missing at this level of play. This facet of the program motivates me greatly, and I believe will create a unique USL 2 environment that our players and members can be proud of.” 

Carton is a native of Wexford, Ireland who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Winthrop University. He also has a master’s in international sports management from the Johan Cruyff Institute for Sports Management. Carton also served as an assistant coach at Winthrop for three years, during which time they won a Big South Conference regular season championship as well as two tournament titles.







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