By USLSoccer.com Staff
Thursday, December 17, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Independence announced it has re-signed defender Bilal Duckett for 2016.
Duckett was an anchor to the Independence defense, a unit that this past season allowed only 35 goals, tied for fifth fewest in the league, and 10 shots per game, tied for sixth fewest in the league. He also recorded one goal in 2015, a game-winner in a match against Wilmington Hammerheads FC on Sept. 3.
“Bilal is a key off season re-signing,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “He came into the team after the season started last year and immediately shored up our back line. We conceded fewer goals and chances with Bilal in the lineup. His pace and defensive qualities are exceptional. He is often able to close down plays before they become dangerous. Off the field, Bilal's upbeat personality is infectious within the group.”
A native of Macon, Ga., Duckett originally was drafted by Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the third round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. He made four MLS appearances before signing with USL side Harrisburg City Islanders in March of 2012. Duckett returned to the MLS ranks in 2013, signing a contract with the New England Revolution before he eventually was loaned to the club’s USL affiliate, the Rochester Rhinos.
In 2014, Duckett came to Charlotte as a member of the Charlotte Eagles before transitioning to the Independence in 2015.
Duckett’s signing follows Monday’s announcement that Jorge Herrera, Tomasz Zahorski and Jack Metcalf will each return for a second season in Charlotte. In addition, the Independence recently acquired USL veteran Yann Ekra, who formerly played for the Harrisburg City Islanders.