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Revolution defender Donnie Smith loaned to Charlotte Independence

The left back will head to his home state through the end of the month.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Charlotte Independence at New England Revolution
Donnie Smith controls the ball during a 2015 U.S. Open Cup match against the Charlotte Independence. On Wednesday, Smith joined the Independence on loan.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

At the onset of the 2017 season, Revolution fans clamored for Donnie Smith to emerge as a regular contributor. The UNC-Charlotte grad has made just four starts since the Revs drafted him in 2013, and has yet to see the field this season.

With playing time at a premium, the Revolution shipped Smith to the Charlotte Independence (USL) on Wednesday, where he is expected to remain through the end of the month, according to Jeff Lemieux.

The loan to Charlotte will provide an opportunity for Smith to build momentum and match fitness as he continues to work toward playing time for the Revolution.

In Smith’s absence, Jay Heaps will continue to rely on Kelyn Rowe, Chris Tierney and Je-Vaughn Watson to pick up starts at left back. Of the three, Rowe has arguably turned in the strongest campaign thus far, though he plays his best soccer in an attacking midfield role. Tierney and Watson have yet to fully find their form this season.

The Independence, who currently play at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, N.C., will soon move to a facility in Matthews, just minutes from where Smith grew up. The club plays its next match on Thursday, May 11 against New York Red Bulls II.