The Charleston Battery announced Thursday the signing of defender Derek Dodson to the 2023 roster, pending league and federation approval.
Dodson, 24, arrives in Charleston after a one-year stay with Memphis 901 FC in 2022. The 6-0 wing-back featured in 30 matches in the regular season and playoffs, scoring three goals and adding three assists.
“I’m very excited to join the Charleston Battery,” said Dodson. “The opportunity to continue playing for Coach Pirmann, coupled with the history of this club and the support from the community, made this a very attractive destination for me. I can’t wait to get to work and compete for the city.”
With Memphis, Dodson regularly contributed on both sides of the ball and from multiple positions, including as a forward and a winger. He tallied 22 chances created, 31 clearances, 16 interceptions, 24 tackles won and 135 duels won last season.
Head Coach Ben Pirmann is elated to bring aboard Dodson, who he is particularly familiar with.
“Derek is a very talented and cerebral footballer, he has a great understanding of how we want to play from a holistic perspective,” said Coach Pirmann. “He is as driven and competitive as anyone in this league. Derek has played as a striker and a winger, and played the last nine matches of 2022 as a right-back. His abilities, awareness and versatility make him such a tremendous addition to our team.
“Dodson also has such a unique profile as an individual player; he can score and create goals, he has tremendous fitness to go up and down the field to support his teammates and he is one of the best in the league in recovering the ball from opponents. We believe his best performances are ahead of him.”
A native of Aurora, Ill., Dodson’s professional career began when he was selected eighth overall in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC.
After signing with Orlando, Dodson spent the 2021 season with fellow USL Championship side Hartford Athletic on loan. He registered five goals and three assists across 22 matches with the Connecticut club.
Dodson was a standout during his collegiate career at Georgetown University from 2017 to 2021, playing primarily as a forward. He scored 32 goals across 72 appearances, including one in the Hoya’s 2019 NCAA National Championship win, and added 14 assists. Derek was a three-time First Team All-Big East selection and the 2017 Big East Freshman of the Year.
Dodson is looking forward to the upcoming year with his new squad and previous head coach.
“Coach Pirmann’s leadership style will allow everyone to adopt the same mindset of being the hardest working and most selfless team in the league,” said Dodson. “This shared mindset will create a high-energy, attacking style of soccer that will be very fun for our fans.”
Goalkeepers: Daniel Kuzemka
Defenders: Leland Archer, Derek Dodson, Benji Ettienne, AJ Paterson
Midfielders: Fidel Barajas, Andrew Booth, Robbie Crawford, Avionne Flanagan, Joe Schmidt, Emilio Ycaza
Forwards: Aidan Apodaca, Augustine Williams