Andrew Gutman popped up to score an opportunistic second goal for Charlotte Independence last night.
The Celtic loan star, who only signed for the club in January before being farmed out to the USL side, has been impressing since returning back home.
And the left-back notched his second goal for the club in last night’s 2-1 win over Bethlehem Steel. With the game tied at 0-0, Gutman latched onto a loose ball after it rattled the cross-bar from an inswinging dead-ball delivery. You can view the goal for yourself below:
— Charlotte Independence (@Independence) April 16, 2019
It was a big win for the Independence. Charlotte currently sit as low as 15th in the 18-team Eastern Conference of the USL. They’ve lost four of their opening six games, and are still striving for some early-season consistency.
Interestingly, Charlotte and Gutman are also currently coached by former Celtic coach Jim McGuinness. He only took over the USL side back in early December. So McGuinness will know fine well what Gutman is walking into at Parkhead come the end of his loan spell.
“Composure of a veteran”
The American left-back is clearly flourishing in Charlotte too, despite the rough start to the season overall. The Charlotte Post describes him as a rookie that “plays with the composure of a veteran”. Speaking to the Post, Gutman opened up on his start to the campaign.
“It is my rookie season, but I look at it as, I feel like I belong here. The guys on the team give me a lot of confidence to do my thing, and it’s showing the first couple games in.
“I’m only getting more and more comfortable on the ball with the players, making my runs forward, defending—hopefully I can keep scoring, getting assists and defending well.”
Celtic are going to need to have some decent cover for Kieran Tierney next season. It will be interesting to see if Gutman can be that man. With Emilio Izaguirre’s contract running out after only signing a one-year deal last summer, the Hoops will be short.
The likes of Callum McGregor and Jonny Hayes have proven they can feature in that area. In truth, however, they’re both of much better use elsewhere.
Whether Gutman is viewed as a talent to use immediately or in the long-term future remains to be seen. But it’s clear his individual displays in Charlotte have been successful so far.