The Andrew Gutman saga looks to have finally reached a conclusion, with Ashley Mahoney of The Charlotte Post reporting that he will join USL Championship side Charlotte Independence on loan. After a standout college career with the Indiana Hoosiers, which included winning the 2018 Herman Trophy (college soccer’s Heisman equivalent), Gutman joined Scottish side Rangers FC on trial in December. He ultimately ended up signing with Rangers’s arch-rivals, Celtic FC.
Before Gutman’s signing was official, things started to take an odd turn with unfounded rumors that he had gone AWOL from his Celtic trial. Then, once under contract with the defending SPL Champions, MLS vetoed Gutman’s proposed loan to USL Championship side Nashville FC.
It seems that the league was angry that Gutman had refused a Homegrown Player Contract from the Chicago Fire and then attempted to join a future MLS side on loan (Nashville enters the league in 2020).
Now, it looks like Gutman has finally found a loan move that will be allowed to go through and enable him to receive ample playing time. Charlotte is coached by Jim McGuinness, who previously worked as a coach for Celtic’s U-20 side, before leaving the club in 2017 to become an assistant manager at Chinese Super League side Beijing Sinobo Guoan F.C.
Gutman is a much needed addition to a Charlotte defense that conceded 57 goals in 2018, en route to an 11th place finish in the 16-team Eastern Conference. It looks like he will get the chance to begin his professional career.