Colorado Rapids midfielder Marlon Hairston has been loaned to Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League (USL). The agreement covers the duration of the USL and MLS seasons but the Rapids have the option to recall Hairston from their USL affiliate club at any time.
“This will be a great opportunity for Marlon to get some valuable match experience while completing his return to fitness," said Brian Crookham, Rapids Senior Director of Soccer Development. “We expect him to do very well in the environment that has been created there.”
The Jackson, Miss. native was selected by the Rapids with the 12th pick (first round) of the MLS SuperDraft on January 16, 2014. Hairston saw success in his first campaign with the club after appearing in 22 matches, nine of them coming from the start. He scored his first and only professional goal on August 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park against LA Galaxy. Hairston finished the season with one goal and one assist, while logging 988 minutes. This term, he has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and has yet to feature.
The 21-year-old joined Major League Soccer after two years at the University of Louisville. A member of Generation adidas, Hairston was with the U.S. U-20s at the Toulon Tournament in France in 2013, where he suffered an injury that kept him out of the World Cup for that age group. During his two-year collegiate career, Hairston was named to the all-Big East rookie team his freshman year and helped the Cardinals win the inaugural American Athletic Conference title in 2013, tallying three goals and notching two assists.
“We see Marlon as a big part of the future of the Colorado Rapids,” added Paul Bravo, VP of Soccer Operations and Technical Director. “Our USL affiliate, Charlotte Independence, is the perfect environment for him to develop his game, gain valuable minutes and work through his recent injury. We have the ability to recall Marlon to the Rapids at any time and, rest assured, we’ll be watching his progress very carefully.”
Charlotte Independence lost 3-2 to Charleston Battery in their historic franchise opener last Friday. The Independence are on the road for the first time this season, as they get set to face Wilmington Hammerheads on April 3.
TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids loan midfielder Marlon Hairston to Charlotte Independence of USL.