Colorado Rapids Soccer Club announced today the acquisition of midfielder Enzo Martinez from Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League on a one-year contract, with a club option for a second. Martinez joins the Rapids after finishing in second and third place, respectively, in USL MVP voting over the past two seasons.
“Enzo has really stood out for us this preseason,” said Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager, Pádraig Smith. “He’s been with us from the first day of training camp and has impressed everyone with his quality and work ethic. His résumé at the USL level speaks for itself and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in Major League Soccer.”
Martinez joined the Independence – the Rapids’ USL-affiliate – in early March 2015. Prior to his time in Charlotte, the midfielder was a first-round selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, going 17th overall to Real Salt Lake. Martinez was then sent on a short-term loan to NASL club the Carolina RailHawks in April 2013. He appeared in 15 games that season, netting three goals, including the equalizer in his debut against Minnesota United FC. After rejoining the RailHawks on a permanent basis in 2014, he would go on to appear in 21 games, scoring six goals in all competitions.
The 27-year-old Martinez was born in Uruguay, but his family moved to Rock Hill, South Carolina, in 2000. He starred as a midfielder for Discoveries Soccer Club and Northwestern High School. Following a youth career that included three South Carolina State Championships, three South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year honors, one FAB 50 national title and 182 total goals, Martinez was named ESPN Rise High School Boys’ Soccer Player of the Decade.
Martinez went on to play at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was one of nine members of the 2012 Generation adidas class. He finished his three-year career (2009-11) with 22 goals and 20 assists in 72 games played. The Tar Heels reached the College Cup in all three of Martinez’ seasons, winning the national title in 2011. Following his junior campaign, Martinez was named a NSCAA First Team All-American and was selected to the College Cup All-Tournament Team and Soccer America’s MVP Second Team. He also earned NSCAA Third Team All-American honors and All-ACC Second Team honors as a sophomore and was an ACC All-Freshman Team selection in 2009.
In order to acquire Martinez, the Rapids have sent a fourth round selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft to Real Salt Lake in return for the player’s rights.
“I want to say thank you to all the staff and fans in Charlotte who helped make this move possible,” said Martinez. “But looking forward, I could not be happier to join the Colorado Rapids. The project underway here is really special and I can’t wait to get started – it’s exciting.”
TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids – February 20, 2018 – Rapids acquire midfielder Enzo Martinez on a one year contract, with a club option for a second, from the club’s USL-affiliate Charlotte Independence. The Rapids also send a fourth-round selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft to Real Salt Lake, receiving the player’s rights in return.
Full Name: Enzo Martinez
Weight: 145 lbs.
Birth Date: September 29, 1990
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay