Charlotte Independence ended their 2018 USL season with a 3-1 home loss to North Carolina FC on Saturday, to finish 11th in the Eastern Conference.

The Rapids’ USL affiliate were locked at 1-1, before North Carolina FC netted twice in the final three minutes for the victory.

Homegrown defender Sam Vines played the entire match, to finish his first professional season with 29 appearances, of which 25 were starts. In that time, the 19-year-old managed four assists. Former USL Goalkeeper of the Year, Andrew Dykstra was an unused substitute in the final encounter. He managed 22 appearances in 2018, while keeping four clean sheets.

Of the other Rapids players who spent time on loan at the Independence this season, striker Caleb Calvert netted one goal in his 18 appearances, with Ricardo Perez enjoying 14 appearances.

Midfielder Sam Hamilton was on the bench for the Rapids at Minnesota United FC, three days after playing 90 minutes for Colorado Springs Switchbacks in their season finale. The Switchbacks were held 2-2 at Seattle Sounders 2, having led 2-1 with nine minutes remaining.

Steve Trittschuh’s side finished 11th in the Western Conference, with 39 points from their 34 games.

Hamilton, who spent time on loan at Phoenix Rising FC in 2017, made 18 appearances for the Switchbacks, contributing one assist.

Mike da Fonte and Phoenix Rising FC will go beyond the regular season. Despite losing their final two games, they finished third in the Western Conference.

Phoenix lost 5-2 at Las Vegas Lights FC last Wednesday, in which da Fonte went the distance. The on-loan central defender then entered Saturday's home match with Portland Timbers 2 at halftime, with the match level at 0-0. The Timbers may have the psychological advantage for when the teams meet on Friday in the playoffs, as they struck with five minutes remaining for the win.

In all, da Fonte started 29 of his 30 appearances, which included one goal.