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Nashville SC Loans SuperDraft Picks to Independence

March 7, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Charlotte Independence News Release

Charlotte (NC) - On Friday, the Charlotte Independence professional soccer team announced midfielder Luke Haakenson and defender Jake Maher have been loaned from Major League Soccer (MLS) side Nashville SC for the 2020 USL Championship season, pending league and federation approval. Nashville SC reserves the right to recall Maher for the duration of the MLS season. Both rookies were selected in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft; Maher, 2nd overall out of Indiana University and Haakenson, 80th overall out of Creighton University.

A native of Caseyville, Illinois, Maher joined St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club as a youth player. In 2016, Maher represented the U-18 U.S. National Team, helping win the 23rd International Vaclav Jezek Tournament in the Czech Republic. Most recently, Maher received a call up to the U-23 U.S. Men's National Team during the Youth National Team Summit Camp in January. Prior to his collegiate career, Maher earned an academy contract with USL Championship side Saint Louis FC where he made two professional appearances.

During a two-year career at Indiana University, Maher recorded 46 starts, four starts and two assists. Following his sophomore season, Maher was named United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American, unanimous First Team All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Last December, Maher was one of five players signed to Generation Adidas for the 2020 class.

A native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Haakenson made 74 appearances for the Creighton Bluejays over a four-year collegiate career. He scored 12 career goals, including seven game-winners. Haakeson also featured for National Premier Soccer League side Minneapolis City SC.

Maher and Haakenson mark the 20th and 21st players added to the 2020 Charlotte Independence roster. The club exercised team-options on four players' contracts, reached new contracts with three returning players, made seven new signings, added two academy contract players, and received three player on loan as the team prepares for the 2020 Season Opener on Sunday, March 8th.

Current Charlotte Independence roster:

Forward: Enzo Martinez, Dane Kelly

Midfielder: Jake Areman, Kevan George, Valentin Sabella, Junior Etou, Oscar Ramsay, Derek Gebhard, Rey Ortiz, Luke Haakenson

Defender: Clay Dimick, Joel Johnson, Hugh Roberts, Casey Penland, Duke Lacroix, Owen Barber, Joey Skinner, Jack Maher

Goalkeeper: Brandon Miller, Austin Pack

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