Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not the Way We Wanted it to End... and Some News About the Blog

Well, that was an ordeal.

Not much you can really say about this one. The Battery fell 3-1 to Orlando in extra time after a 1-1 draw in regular time.
Say what you will about the match, but it was a valiant effort by the boys.
Here's the recap from the Battery and from a new blog called The Beautiful Game.
Now that we've entered the off season, the posts on this blog are going to get much less frequent, but hopefully i'll pick up the posting closer to the beginning of next season. Keep checking back as I'll be posting every once in a while hopefully.

Here's to another great year, Up the Battery!

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Success!: Charleston Playoff Bound

Well they did it, and a little more handily than the scoreboard would show at the end of the match. Charleston defeated Charlotte 4-3 and are headed to the playoffs.

A great crowd of 4,773 (Largest of the year) at the 'Baud would see the Battery score the most goals they've scored all season in one match. The goals came from Zach Prince, Mike Zaher (2), and Dane Kelly. Zach Prince scored his first goal of the season, while Zaher scored his first and second of the season.

The Battery will face Orlando City next Saturday night at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Orlando has only lost one match at the Citrus Bowl this season, and the Battery came home with zero points in their two matches played in Orlando.

This is the Battery's fourth straight season of making an appearance in the playoffs. So even if the run is short lived, it is still a great accomplishment for the club.

Preview friday. My playoff predictions is also a possibility at some point this week.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

So It All Comes Down to This: Charleston-Charlotte Preview

Well the Battery have had a long season. They've had a five game goal-less streak, they've traveled high and low, they've played two games in two nights, and it all comes down to one match. One match with a familiar foe: the Charlotte Eagles.

The Battery have played the Eagles twice this year, winning both matches 1-0 at home and 2-1 away. This is also a Southern Derby match, even though that will take a backseat to the race for the playoffs that the two sides are in.

This will be a very interesting match, because no other match in the league has this kind of do-or-die position. The added intensity of this rivalry also just adds coal to the fire.

Starting XI:
Marples Falvey Wilson Zaher
Peverley Paterson Caskey Armstrong
Kelly Coleman

In my opinion, this is the strongest line-up by far. This accumulates everyone's season performances, and their current form, and I really think this would be a winning combination. But will just have to wait and see.

This is all the Battery could ask for in the end: Control of their own destiny.

Here are the previews from the Battery, and No Quarter.

The match will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel, and first kick is set for 8:00 at Blackbaud Stadium. You can also follow the Battery on Twitter @Chas_Battery, for constant updates from the match.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Preview: Orlando-Charleston (Game 2)

Alright so here's a short preview of tonight's match:

I recommend that you go back and look at my preview for the first match, because much of it holds true for the second match.

After a 1-0 loss on Wednesday night, the Battery control there own destiny for making the playoffs. If they win both matches they're in. Every other scenario will need Charlotte to not win all three matches. (Charlotte and Charleston are tied for 4th, and the top 4 make the playoffs.)

Here is the Battery's preview.

The match will again be on USL Live tonight at 7:30 and the match will be played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Preview: Orlando City-Charleston (Game 1)

Well after a disappointing loss to Rochester last Saturday, the Battery head down to Orlando, Florida for two matches with Orlando City. The first match is on Wednesday, while the second will be on Saturday night. Both will be played in the Citrus Bowl.

Orlando City:
This Season: Orlando City has the most points in the league, and they are leading the American division by 3 points. Orlando is looking to clinch home field throughout the playoffs in this series with Charleston.
Who's Playing Big: Griffin Maxwell leads the league and Orlando City in goals with 9, while Jamie Watson and Lewis Neal are tied for the most assists with 3. Watson has scored 3 goals, and Neal has scored 4.
Who Need's to Step Up: Not really anyone. City has only lost 3 matches, and have only given up 2 goals in their last 5 matches. City is pretty much a lock to win the league.

Charleston really need to grab at least one win in these two matches. With only three matches left in the Battery's season, its crunch time.

The match will be available on  USL Live, and will be played at 7:30. Orlando has a quality broadcast, so make sure to check that out.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Preview: Charleston-Rochester

This will be a short preview, as I'm not using my own computer, so if there are any grammatical errors or errors in facts, I apologize in advance. And with that said, Charleston hosts the Rochester Rhinos this Saturday night, and here's your preview:

Rochester Rhinos:
This Season: The Rhinos come into Charleston after a win at Charlotte on Friday night. They currently sit in first place in the National Division, 1 point in front of second place Harrisburg.
Who's Playing Big: Andre Hoxie and Kendall Jagdeosingh both lead the team in goals with 5, though Tony Donatelli could be considered the most effective with 3 goals and 4 assists. The Rhinos have had no trouble finding scorers, with 13 players having at least one goal this season.
Who Needs to Step Up: The Rhinos are playing well, and there's not one thing you can really single out that they need to work on. Keeper Neal Kitson has one of the best GAA in the league with a .0894.

This is a crucial point in the Battery's season. They sit one point behind the Kickers (who have a game in hand) and three points in front of 5th place Charlotte. The Battery have two matches at Orlando City left, so they need to win the rest of their home games if they're planning on making the playoffs.

The match will as usual be on USL Live, at 7:30 and the match is at the 'Baud, so if you're in the area head to the stadium and support the Battery.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Short Update

Alright so my computer has been down for almost a week now, so there's your reason for the blog being so slow lately. I'm trying to get it fixed, but it might be a while. So right now I'm using my friend's computer to give you all this update.

Last night the Battery had a friendly match with Portsmouth FC, and the match ended with a pretty good result for the Battery, a scoreless draw. The match was not on USL Live, but it looks like they might post it in the archived games at a later date.

I'm not making any promises on how quickly I'll be back. It could be tomorrow, it could be a week. So until then just keep checking back.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Preview: Charleston-Dayton

The Battery head up to Dayton, Ohio for another match with the Dayton Dutch Lions at Miami Valley South Stadium. Here's your preview:

Dayton Dutch Lions:
This Season: The Lions have only 8 points this season which puts them last in the National Division, as well as the league as a whole. Second to last is FC New York with 18 points. So as you can see Dayton is by far the worst team in the league. They have lost their last two matches against LA and Pittsburgh, but before those two matches they earned 3 straight draws. Keep in mind that Dayton has played 12 straight matches on the road, so this will be a bit of a homecoming.
Who's Playing Big: Well to be honest, nobody. The goals aren't plentiful with a team like Dayton, but their leading scorer is George Davis who hasn't scored in a few matches.
Who Need's to Step Up: Tough call here as it seems that there is a lot that the Dutch Lions could improve on. I'll go ahead and say that the back and their keeper need to play big if Dayton wants to finish with a respectable amount of points this season. They have given up the most goals in the league, with 39.

What to Expect:Starting XI:
Marples Falvey Wilson Zaher
Peverley Paterson Caskey Armstrong
Kelly Coleman

Zero changes from last week, and I really don't have too much more to say. I'd like to compliment Alex Caskey on his great performance against Wilmington last week. Caskey is really showing that he has the potential to be one of the top players on the team. Also, JC Mack will be returning from injury this week.

The Battery have played Dayton twice this year winning both matches. The first came in the second match of the season when the Battery defeated the Dutch Lions 2-1, and the second was a 1-0 home victory for Charleston.

Here's the Battery's preview.

The match will be played at 7:30 on Friday night, and will be on 1340 AM in the Charleston area, and will also be on USL Live.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More Stunning MLS Goals: Is the League Improving?

So if you have been keeping up with the MLS this year, you've probably seen the amazing goals of late:
And I could keep going all day.

The first question that comes to mind after watching these goals and is, "Does this mean that the quality of the MLS and American soccer are improving?" The answer is a resounding, "Yes."

Take another look at the list. If you have a good knowledge of MLS players, you might have figured out that 5 of the 7 players on this list are Americans.

I will admit that 2 of the best 3 goals (in my opinion) were scored by foreigners (Carlos Ruiz and Eric Hassli), but the other (Darlington Nagbe) is an American just like the others. And that leaves something to be said about the development in the United States.

Now take these goals with a grain of salt, because in all levels of soccer you will see sudden strokes of brilliance; In the Premier League, in the MLS, in the USL, and when you're kicking the ball around with your mates.

But these goals are special. They are crackers, thunder bolts, and all have the touches and finishing of the professionals of the world's game.

I think that the MLS is gathering talent both young and old, to put out a product that an increasing number of people are willing to pay to see. Whether that is through the MLS Direct Kick package, MLS Matchday, or going to see the matches live in the venues around the U.S. which just keep getting better and better.

What the rest of the world is going to have to come to terms with, is that the United States will have one of the top ten soccer leagues and will have one of the top ten national teams in the world very soon.

But I'm fine with taking the world by surprise.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two Late Goals Give the Battery a Victory over Wilmington

On Thursday night, the Wilmington Hammerheads ventured to Blackbaud Stadium for a match with the Battery, and Charleston sent the Hammerheads and their fans back to North Carolina with a 2-1 loss. Goals from Brandon Massie and Dane Kelly would seal the victory for the Battery. Here are my thoughts:
  • Caskey is Playing Extremely Well: This was Caskey's third straight start, and he's playing like a starter. He makes smart runs, he moves the ball well, and he's by far the fastest player on the team. We should see him starting in the next few matches.
  • The Back Four Continues to Play Well: Credit to Wilmington on the one goal that they scored. They mucked up things in the box and good plays were made by both Chris Spendlove and Manny Guzman to put the ball in the back of the net. Outside of that, the legitimate chances for Wilmington were few and far between.
  • Dane Kelly Might Be Starting to Come Around: We've seen two sides of Dane this year. The invisible Dane, and the Dane who is constantly moving off the ball and making good runs. We saw the latter last night, and that's how the Battery need it to stay for the rest of the season if they want to make the playoffs.
  • Hat's Off to the Port City Firm: The Hammerheads supporters group brought a good contingent of fans for a week day match. This was a prime example of how fans should act towards each other, as the Port City Firm set up shop in the section (E9) beside the Regiment and there were no problems.
  • Having JC Mack on the Broadcast Was Great: For those of you who watched the match on USL Live, you were able to hear the currently injured JC Mack sit in with Andrew Bell for the match. It was great to have two people doing the match, and I think that the Battery should do that more often with their injured players.
Man of the Match: Dane Kelly
Kelly played well for the majority of the match. The run he made for his goal was just beautifully timed and executed. The headed finish was good as well.

Here are the recaps from No Quarter and the Battery.

The Battery's next match is at the Dayton Dutch Lions and will be broadcast on USL Live and for those of you in the Charleston area, it will be live on the radio on 1340 AM.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Midday Thoughts: US Open Cup USL vs. Sounders

Well, well, well. The Richmond Kickers are the last USL Pro team left in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. After defeating the Dayton Dutch Lions, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the Columbus Crew, and Sporting KC, the Kickers will face the Chicago Fire for a chance to play the winner of Seattle/Dallas for the National Title.
So here is where I am torn.

For those of you who don't know, the Sounders are my favorite club, save the Battery. I have family out in Seattle, and have been to many Sounders games while visiting them so it seemed like a natural fit.

Hypothetically, we could have a Seattle Sounders-Richmond Kickers final. This would be my worst nightmare. Well maybe not the worst, but its up there.

Now I would always cheer for the USL against the MLS in every situation, except this. Sorry guys, but I despise the Kickers with a passion, and I love the Sounders (also with a passion). I'm all for an USL side winning the Open Cup, but I can't cheer for the Kickers, and I can't cheer against the Sounders.

Let's just wait and see what happens.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Keeping Up With the Cobras: Part I

Okay so first off let me apologize to all of the people who read my blog for the updates on the Central SC Cobras, because honestly I haven't been posting much about them lately. So with that said onto these updates on the Cobras:
  • The Cobras Will Officially Play in the W-League: In a press release, the USL announced that the Cobras would officially join the USL W-League for the 2012 season and will be the 28th team in the league.
  • Three Friendlies Were a Huge Success: A home and home series with the Charlotte Lady Eagles along with an inter-squad scrimmage gave the Cobras their first few tastes of the pitch. The crowds came out to support the team, and the Cobras have their foot in the door on making an impact on the sports scene in Columbia.
  • Meet the Cobras: In three press releases in a four part series, the Cobras started introducing their players to the soccer world: http://wleague.uslsoccer.com/home/543070.html hhttp://wleague.uslsoccer.com/home/541739.html ttp://wleague.uslsoccer.com/home/541137.html
The Cobras will continue to develop the women's game in South Carolina and to keep up with all the news on the Cobras, check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Southern Derby Part III: Wilmington @ Charleston

On Thursday night the Wilmington Hammerheads will come to Charleston for the Battery's third match in the Southern Derby. Here's your preview:

Wilmington Hammerheads:
This Season: The Hammerheads currently sit 4th in the American Division table after two straight wins against the quickly falling Antigua Barracuda FC last week. The Hammerheads are just a point behind the Battery, and have three games in hand.
Who's Playing Big: Both Luke Mulholland and Chris Banks lead the team in goals with 5 each, and they also both have 2 assists a piece. Banks will not be available for this match after receiving a red card in his last match. The Hammerheads have had 12 different players score during this USL Pro season.
Who Needs to Step Up: The Hammerheads have given up multiple goals in 5 out of the last 6 matches, so I'll go ahead and say that new GK Kyle Polak will need to step up and keep more out of the net if the Hammerheads want to win this match.

What to Expect:
Starting XI:
Marples Falvey Wilson Zaher
Peverley Paterson Caskey Armstrong
Kelly Coleman

Dykstra should once again get the start in goal, as he hasn't given up a goal in the last 2 matches. And the back four should also stay the same as the last few matches.

In the midfield I give you what I think is our best four at the moment. Peverley hasn't gotten a start in a while, and the reason for that is beyond my knowledge. Paterson is obviously one of the best players on the team, if not the best. Caskey has started the last few matches, and is in good form. Not to mention the great headed goal he had against City. And finally, when Stephen Armstrong is in the game, the Battery click on all levels and fire on all cylinders. Call him a leader, call him a game- changer, I just call him the man.

Alright let me make something clear: Dane Kelly and Seedy Bah do not play well together. I have absolutely no explanation for this, but Kelly and Bah just don't seem to click together even though I feel like they should. So play Coleman up front and solve this problem.

The game will be broadcast on USL Live at 7:30 on Thursday night. Its "Thirsty Thursday" at Blackbaud Stadium, so $2 Miller Lite Drafts all night.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

After the Rain: Charleston 1-0 Orlando City

After a rain delay pushed the start of this match to 9:30, the Battery got their biggest win of the season; a 1-0 defeat of league-leading Orlando City SC.
This was another classic 2011 Battery victory, where the possession stayed with the opposition for most of the first half, but the Battery survived without getting far behind. And then the Battery adjusted and struck in the second half to pull a victory out in the end.

Here's No Quarter's recap, and the Battery's as well.

Man of the Match: Alex Caskey
I'll give the match ball to Mr. Caskey for scoring his first professional goal. Well done Alex.

A shout out to Orlando's supporters group, "The Ruckus," for a great showing in Section E1 of Blackbaud Stadium. Definitely one of the best supporters groups in the USL.

Hopefully the Battery will be able to continue their good form in a home fixture with the Wilmington Hammerheads at the 'Baud on Thursday. This is a Southern Derby match and not to mention is a match with a team who is right behind Charleston in the standings.

The match will be broadcast on USL Live as usual, and is at 7:30 on Thursday.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Charleston-Orlando City Preview

Well the league-leading Orlando City Soccer Club is coming to Chucktown, here's you preview:

Orlando City:
This Season: City will come into this match posting a 11-2-5 and a league-leading 38 points. 11 ahead of second place Richmond. This team is a well oiled machine, and have 17 GF and 8 against, which is also is league leading. They are on a 5 game unbeaten streak in USL Pro play.
Who's Playing Big: Maxwell Griffin has a league-leading 9 goals, and also leads in points, even though he has 0 assists. The team leader in assists is Jamie Watson, who has 3 on the year and just scored a goal against Rochester last week.
Who Needs to Step Up: N/A. This team should finish first, even though Richmond has three games in hand.

What to Expect:
Starting XI:
Marples Falvey Wilson Zaher
Taylor Peverley Paterson Armstrong
Bah Kelly
Not to many changes to the lineup. Andrew Dykstra will again get the nod between the pipes.
Nigel Marples got the nod last week, as he has been playing well. Falvey and Wilson should take over the central defense, with Zaher out wide.
Evan Taylor didn't play in last week's match, and I really am not sure why. Taylor keeps possession well, but I feel he works better in a 4-2-3-1 and working as a defensive midfielder. Peverley, Paterson, and Armstrong should round up the midfield.

Levi Coleman has recently been coming off the bench, so I assume that Seedy Bah will once again get the starting spot up top along with Dane Kelly.

Orlando City is a quality side, and they have only two losses the whole year. The advantage that Charleston has is that Orlando City will be playing Dayton at home on Friday night, and then making the trip up to Charleston for the match on Saturday.

The match will be on USL Live at 7:30 on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium. This is family night for the Battery, so 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, and 4 sodas for $30.

A large group of the Orlando City supporters group "The Ruckus" will be coming to Blackbaud Stadium, and will be taking up residency in section E1.

The Regiment will also be collecting money and clothes for the Andrew Pascoe family. Andrew is a big Battery and Regiment supporter who's house was loss to a fire on Wednesday morning. Everyone in the family made it out safely but they lost everything in the fire.

Please come by and put something in the jar at the tailgate. If you can't make the tailgate, The Regiment will be raffling off an autographed Battery jersey and proceeds from the raffle will also go the Pascoe family. Raffle tickets are $1 or 6 for $5 and will be available under the West Stands before the match and during half-time.

-From No Quarter

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Few Good Articles

Here's a few articles I've picked up over the last couple of weeks, check them out:
If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Charleston-Los Angeles Recap

On Friday night, the Battery faced the Blues and the match ended in a 0-0 draw. For a full recap I recommend the Battery's recap.

Here are some of my thoughts on the match:
  • Charleston Probably Deserved the Three Points: After a bit of a shaky first half where they couldn't get consistent possession, the Battery came around in the second half and got so many scoring chances, but they just couldn't find the back of the net. Dane Kelly got plenty of chances in the box where he would get plenty of space, but his ball distribution and decision making were poor.
  • The Crowds at Blackbaud are Increasing: After a few matches around 3,000 fans in the stands (which is nothing to sneeze at), the crowds are starting to pick up. The match with the Blues drew around 3,500, while the match with Pittsburgh last week drew 4,000. Keep it up Battery fans!
  • Bah and Kelly Doesn't Work Up Front: As good as I think Kelly and Bah are, I still tend to lean towards a Kelly and Coleman, or Bah and Coleman front 2. It seems like Bah and Kelly are two of the same card, and either of them with Coleman seems to work the best. The one counterpoint to that is the Wilmington match, where they both played in front and both found the net.
  • Charleston Needs to Start Winning: Now a single point against LA isn't necessarily a bad result, but if the Battery have playoff plans they need to start winning. The road isn't easy, but if they win their home matches and get a point here and there on the road, they should get in.
Man of the Match: N/A
It was tough here, but I ended up not finding anyone to hand the award. Kelly definitely had a decent game, but didn't finish well enough for my taste. Dykstra played well in goal, and there were some other standouts, but in the end I'll leave it at "N/A."

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Expansion Franchise LA Blues Coming to Town

Tomorrow the Battery will get their first look at the Los Angeles Blues, a team that's first season has been a great success. Here's your preview:

Los Angeles Blues:
This Season: The Blues have gathered a 5-3-3 record this season, and those 18 points have been good enough for a 3rd place standing in the National Division. With a few games in hand, the Blues are looking to make a run for a playoff spot late in the season. On Tuesday their U.S. Open Cup run ended in a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy, and their last USL Pro result ended in a 2-1 result as well, this time to the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Who's Playing Big: 34 year old Walter Gaitan is leading the team in goals, but he hasn't scored since April. He's also tallied 3 assists which is good enough for first on the team. The Blues have had 11 different scorers this season, with 6 having one goal, 3 having two, and 1 having three, and 1 having four.
Who's Need's to Step Up: The team seems to play pretty well together from what I've seen, and this could be a team that makes a run in the playoffs. The schedule for LA will be tough for the rest of the season. Anytime you have to fly across the country to play, it will take a toll on your team. The Blues will make three more cross country trips during the remainder of the season, including the one to Charleston.
What to Expect:
My prediction for the Starting XI:
Wiltse Wilson Falvey Zaher
Peverley Paterson Taylor Armstrong
Kelly Coleman

Dykstra should again be in goal, especially since Wiggans go the start against Pittsburgh on Saturday and didn't fair too well in the 2-0 loss.

The back line went through some changes last week, but most of them were just to give everyone an appropriate amount of rest. The back should be back to normal this week, with one exception. I really liked Wiltse's play at RB last weekend, and I feel that he should get the nod. He got forward really well, and I could easily see him getting the start.

This is our strongest midfield in my opinion. Peverley, Paterson, and Armstrong are no question our best three midfielders, while the last spot is up for some interpretation. I decided to got with Evan Taylor.

Up front should be Dane Kelly and Levi Coleman. Kelly is in his best form of the season, and his goal against Wilmington was brilliant. If you have it recorded on your DVR, I recommend you go have a second look at it.

Now something of note is that last week in the Pittsburgh match, the Battery played one man up front and played more of a 4-2-3-1. They kept Levi Coleman up front, and later would put in Dane Kelly. Charleston has done this multiple times this year, and they have had some success off it (see the Richmond match on 5/24). It will be interesting to see what they come out in.

The Battery only have eight matches left, and three of them are with league-leading Orlando City. Charleston needs to continue this good slide of games in these last matches if they want to keep their spot in the play-offs.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back to Business: Battery Win One, Drop One, and Mexico Wins the Gold Cup

First off, sorry for the lack of posts lately, having no internet connection will do that to you. I'll try to get back to posting more often guys, its just been hard to lately.

Anyways, the Battery were very busy this weekend. They started with a trip up to Wilmington in a match to be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel. This was a chance for the Battery to make a statement.

And a statement was made. Seedy Bah and Dane Kelly got the goals in a 2-0 victory for Charleston in front of 5,117 fans at Legion Field in Wilmington. Shout out to Wilmington for the great atmosphere.

This was an enjoyable match to watch. Despite the lack of domination of possession, shots, and scoring chances in general, it was great to see the boys pull one out with their backs against the wall.

Man of the Match: Dane Kelly
Kelly gets the nod from me. After a good showing in recent matches, Kelly showed why he is our #1 forward right now. His goal was beautiful. Great pass, great move, great finish. He's playing active and smart football, and that's all you can ask.

In the second match, we had a bit of a let down. No rhythm was ever established, and the Battery looked tired in a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Goals from Matt Tuttle and Shintaro would lead to Charleston's dismantling in front of 3,965.

Man of the Match: N/A
Nobody had a standout match for the Battery. Everyone looked tired and the team had trouble finding good scoring chances.

In International Soccer we had the Gold Cup Final in Pasadena, California. The USMNT faced Mexico in the final and it started off well for the Yanks.

Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan would give the US a 2-0 advantage before the 25th minute mark. Then El Tri came marching back and would win the match 4-2.

Let me say this, it came down to that Steve Cherundolo injury early. When Bornstein came in, we had two players playing unfamiliar positions in the back, and our fate was pretty much sealed.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Charleston Defeats Dayton 1-0

Last night Dayton came to town, and the Battery played the Dutch Lions in front of a crowd of 3,054 at Blackbaud Stadium.

The Battery added three points to their season total after Levi Coleman slotted home a shot on an open net off a pass from Evan Taylor which brought the keeper off his line. The 77th minute goal would prove to be enough, and the Lions would earn two red cards on their way to a 1-0 defeat.

The first red card came in the 49th minute when Maeiur VanderPluljm head-butted Colin Falvey, earning a straight red. The second came in the 89th minute when Evan Schwarz made a harsh tackle, and being the last man this gave him a straight red as well.

The game was one of the slower that the Battery have played this season, and it wasn't their best outing as well. The pace was slow, and this caused the chances to be few and far between. Charleston managed only 7 shots to Dayton's 3.

Man of the Match: Nicki Paterson
Paterson is playing the best of all the Battery players right now. You can just tell that he sees the game well, and this match was no different than the rest of his matches. Even in a sloppy match, Paterson shined through.

Honorable Mentions:
Levi Coleman: Came on as a sub in the 71st minute, and scored the only goal. There has to be something said for that.
Diego Walsh: Walsh has really brought a spark to the Battery's offense, and this match he was just so active. It seemed that every other touch was him on the ball.

Next week the Battery have another edition of everyone's favorite game show "Two Games in Two Days!" Okay bad joke. Anyway, Friday the Battery face the Wilmington Hammerheads at Wilmington, and this match will be nationally televised on Fox Soccer Channel. Then the Battery head back to Charleston for a match with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. This match will be broadcast on USL Live.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Charleston-Dayton and Portsmouth FC is Coming to Town

The Charleston Battery will face the Dayton Dutch Lions at 7:30 at Blackbaud Stadium. The Battery are coming off a US Open Cup victory over Regals FC. Will the Battery bounce back?

Here's the preview from the Battery's website. The match will be broadcast on USL Live

In the biggest news of the week, English Championship side, Portsmouth FC, is coming to Chucktown for an International Friendly with the Charleston Battery on July 27th. This is great news for all soccer fans in the Lowcountry.

Portsmouth will be their "home" during their 12 day stay in the US.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Charleston Advances, Highlights, International Friendlies, and a JOLAZO!

Last night the Charleston Battery defeated Regals FC 2-0 in a US Open Cup First Round match at Blackbaud Stadium. The goals were scored by Nicki Paterson and Dane Kelly.

For a full recap, check out No Quarter (highlights included), and the Battery's recap.

The Battery have moved on to face Orlando City SC in the second round at Blackbaud Stadium on June 21st. If Charleston wins that match as well, they will travel to Pizza Hut Park for a match with MLS side, FC Dallas.

The Battery's next match will be at home against the Dayton Dutch Lions on June 17. The match will be available on USL Live and will be at 7:30.

The front office of the Battery announced today, that they will announce tomorrow who their foe will be for the international friendly on July 27th. This shouldn't come as a surprise for most Battery fans, as Charleston has made it somewhat of a tradition to have a club from across the pond come to Blackbaud Stadium every year.

Last night the USMNT also played a match, and an important one at that. The US staved off elimination by defeating Guadeloupe 1-0 on a Jozy Altidore goal. And it is being dubbed a "Jolazo" and that isn't a stretch:

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Charleston's Road to the Cup

Hopefully we'll be hearing this chant ringing throughout Chucktown in a couple of months:
Well granted that the Battery's chances of winning this year's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are a lot slimmer than that of two-time defending cup champion Seattle Sounders FC, but you never know. That's what makes this tournament so much fun.

I'll start off with a little bit of history.

A non-MLS side has not won the Cup since the Rochester Rhinos won it in 1999 over the Colorado Rapids. And since that match in 1999, only one non-MLS side has been to the final, and that's the Charleston Battery.
The Battery are arguably one of the USL clubs with the most storied career in the US Open Cup. The Battery have been to one final, where they finished off the tourny with a respectable 2-1 loss to DC United at RFK Stadium. Not including that final, the Battery have advanced to two semifinals (1999 and 2004). Charleston has made it to at least the Quarterfinals every year since 2007, so expectations should be high for the Battery.

The Battery have shown that they can be giant killers as well, knocking off an impressive 9 MLS teams in the 13 years since the MLS started entering the tournament in 1996.

In last year's edition of the annual tournament, the Battery advanced to the Quarterfinals after winning their first three matches of the tournament. They defeated USASA side CASL Elite, NASL club the Carolina Railhawks, and the Chicago Fire before going out to eventual runners-up, the Columbus Crew.

What are the Battery's chances like this year? Well just as good as any of the others.

Charleston will play Regals FC in the first round on June 14th at Blackbaud Stadium. This team comes from Southern Texas and is part of the Southern Premier Soccer League and the USASA. Assuming that the Battery defeat their USASA foe and that Orlando City takes care of ASC New Stars (Another South TX team), then the Battery will face City in a second round match up. So let's say that hypothetically the Battery win this match as well. Then the Battery would face one of the eight MLS teams that have qualified for the tournament. They are:
  • Chicago Fire

  • Columbus Crew

  • FC Dallas

  • Los Angeles Galaxy

  • New York Red Bulls

  • Real Salt Lake

  • Seattle Sounders FC

  • Sporting Kansas City

    After that, well its hard to tell. The goal for the Battery should be to get to the Round of 16, at least. This will require two wins. Seems simple enough, but we'll just have to wait and see.

  • Honestly, a lot of the MLS teams just don't take this tournament seriously, and that's a sad thing. Luckily, this allows many of the teams in the lower divisions to take advantage of the MLS teams not playing their best players or simply not playing as hard as they can.
    What's at stake? Well a bid in the CONCACAF Champions League, and the winner of that tournament gets a bid in the FIFA Club World Cup. It's far off, but the Battery have a chance to be the world champions. Okay well it's a long shot, actually the longest shot of all time, but we can dream can't we?
    Good luck to all the teams participating in this year's tournament, let's hope for an interesting competition.
    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    What to Do During the Battery's Off Week

    Well after last weekend's set of matches, the Battery won't play again until next Friday, June 17th. That's a bit of a buzz kill. What should you do to cope with the loss of the Battery for 12 days? Well here's what I recommend:
    • Watch the Gold Cup: 25 matches in 20 days, with 12 of the best teams from CONCACAF, including the United States Men's National Team. The USMNT has 3 matches this week, against Canada, Panama, and Guadeloupe. If you're not a fan of the Yanks or you just want to see some good soccer, head on up to Charlotte on June 9th to watch the matches between El Salvador and Costa Rica, and Mexico and Cuba.
    • Watch the MLS: The MLS season is in full swing. Matches are broadcast every weekend on Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN, so head down to your local bar or local couch and enjoy the top level of American Soccer. Lamar Neagle and the Seattle Sounders will be playing on FSC on Saturday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
    • Watch the Other USL Pro Teams: Just because the Battery are off, doesn't mean the rest of the league is as well. You can still watch matches on USL Live, and Fox Soccer Channel are starting their weekly broadcast of the USL Pro Game of the Week every Saturday. This Saturday we have Harrisburg heading to Rochester for the first televised match of the year. And again, don't be afraid to head up to Charlotte or Wilmington to watch our Southern Derby counterparts play a match or two.
    • Watch the Cobras: The Central SC Cobras will be playing a match in Charlotte against the Charlotte Lady Eagles on June 7th. Should be a great match. For more information check out http://www.centralsouthcarolinacobrasfc.com/
    • Play Some Soccer Yourself: Don't be afraid to grab a couple of mates and head down to the pitch to practice your best Stephen Armstrong PK or Nicki Paterson free kick. Just remember to keep it friendly!
    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Recap: FC New York and Harrisburg Matches

    Alright I hate to do his again, but I didn't see either of the matches, so there's not much I can really comment on. So here are the recaps from the Battery's website: Harrisburg FCNY. Here are a few of my thoughts:
    • No red cards or injuries, and if anybody has any minor knocks, they can be healed up during this two week break we will have here.
    • It's nice to see Andrew Dykstra back in goal after missing about 80% of this season. It will be interesting to see who gets the gloves for the match against Dayton on the 17th.
    • Dane Kelly is playing very well. Even though I didn't see either match, I can tell that Kelly is getting forward and getting more chances as he has in the past month or so. The goals will start falling here for Kelly and we could see him be a prolific scorer in the second half of the season.
    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Charleston Heads North for Two Weekend Matches

    The Battery will once again head north for two matches in two days. They'll start with FC New York on Friday night, followed by a match with Harrisburg on Saturday night.
    FC New York:
    This Season: The expansion side started out slowly, earning only 5 points in its first seven matches, but they have been hot of late, earning a 2-2 draw at Richmond, and a 2-1 home win over Rochester.
    Who's Playing Big: Graciano Brito leads New York in goals with 4, besides that no one has more than 1. Besides that there's not a lot of bright spots.
    Who Needs to Step Up: The back line isn't giving the goalkeeping committee (FC New York has featured 4 men between the posts), much help, and the team has given up 14 goals in the nine matches they have played.

    Harrisburg City Islanders:
    This Season: The City Islanders have earned only eight points in their first seven matches, leaving them in fifth place in the National Division, but they have played at least two less games than every team above them.
    Who's Playing Big: Jose Angulo is their leading scorer with 4 goals, and he also has dealed out 1 assist. He has also taken 26 shots, which is only eight less than the rest of the team combined.
    Who Needs to Step Up: The team is clicking well of late, and the lack of points is a little misleading, since they have faced their toughest bit of schedule that they will face this year. A 4-2 win over rival Pittsburgh on Tuesday helps too.

    What to Expect:
    You would think that the Battery's good form of late would make predicting the Starting XI easy, but its not:
    Marples Falvey Wilson Zaher
    Paterson Taylor Mack Armstrong
    Coleman Bah/Kelly
    Andrew Dykstra will be returning for this weekend's set of matches, but I could easily see Keith Wiggans starting one, with Dykstra starting the other.

    The back should still be steady with the usual boys as the Battery's last line of defense. No red card's to prevent any defenders from taking the field in this match.

    The midfield is playing well lately, last week's game-winning goalscorer Nicki Paterson should get the nod along with Evan Taylor, JC Mack, and Stephen Armstrong.

    Levi Coleman will play up front for at least one full match, along with Seedy Bah getting a start on Friday night while Dane Kelly sits out after that red card against Harrisburg last Saturday. Kelly will be able to face the team that put him out for a match on Saturday though.

    Firday night's match with FC New York will be broadcast on 1340 AM in the Charleston area, and Saturday night's fixture with the City Islanders will be available on USL Live.

    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.


    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    US Open Cup, Lamar Neagle, Charleston-Harrisburg Highlights, and More

    Alright I've been silent for a while but here's a little bit of what's going on:
    • Open Cup Pairings have been released. Looks like the Battery will get to face a USASA opponent in Regals FC. This team is from southern Texas and I know absolutely nothing about them; not that I would have known anything about any of the other teams, but I'll try to get as much information on them as possible. Looks like if we win that match, we'll face the ASC New Stars (another USASA team) and Orlando City. Our matches with City could end up being very, very, very important.
    • Former Battery forward, Lamar Neagle, scored a cracker in the Sounders match at Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. If you didn't see the goal, here it is, plus a match recap with a short interview with Lamar. It starts around the 4 minute mark:

    • Here are the highlights from Saturdays match with the Harrisburg City Islanders. I'll post a full video of the scrap with the Islanders later:
    • The "More" part of the title of this article is this: I am just so ready to watch the USMNT play this summer. The friendly with Spain and then the Gold Cup will just be great.
    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Battery Rally Again to Defeat Harrisburg 2-1

    Last night in front of 3,715 spectators at Blackbaud Stadium, the Charleston Battery rallied once again to defeat the Harrisburg City Islanders 2-1.

    The Battery gave up another early goal in the 6th minute, when Jose Angulo headed in a David Schofield cross into the back of the net.

    The Battery would stay off the board until the 60th minute, when it got interesting.

    Dane Kelly chased down a ball in the box and collided with the Islanders goalkeeper Chase Harrison. The Battery were rewarded with a PK, but a scuffle ensued and two players were ejected. For the Islanders, Stephen Basso and Charleston's Dane Kelly were both sent off. Stephen Armstrong would step up and slot the equalizer in.

    Nicki Paterson used a Seedy Bah assist to get the game winner in the 86th minute.

    Coming back from early deficits is becoming a theme in the Battery's season, and it would make me nervous if they weren't winning.

    The scrap that went on in the 60th minute was interesting to say the least. A rivalry is budding between these two teams, and it will be interesting to see what happens when the Battery travel up to play the Islanders on their home turf.

    Man of the Match: Nicki Paterson
    Paterson has really been rock-solid this whole year, and another good performance gets him the nod from me for Man of the Match. The goal, the passing, all quality.

    Charleston's next match will be on Friday at FC New York, and then they will head on down to Harrisburg for a match on Saturday night. That will be interesting. Both matches can be heard on 1340 AM in Charleston and on the Battery's website.

    Here are highlights from the match versus Richmond on Tuesday night:
    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Battery Rally Again and Lamar Neagle

    Alright the Battery came back once again to defeat Harrisburg 2-1. Recap tomorrow.
    Lamar Neagle finally got on the board out in Seattle, check it out:
    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Battery End Scoring Drought, Hand Richmond First Loss

    Well we can all take a breather now.

    Tuesday night the Battery scored their first goal (plus another as a bonus) in 500+ minutes to defeat the undefeated Richmond Kickers. The Kicker's goal came from Matthew Delicate, while the Battery's pair came from Dane Kelly and Jon (apparently now JD?) Gruenwald.

    I'm going defer this recap, and post the Battery's, and No Quarter's.

    Man of the Match: JD Gruenwald
    This is a tough decision, but I'll have to go with Gruenwald simply because he scored the goal that gave Charleston the win. Honorable mention definitely goes to Dane Kelly for finally putting the Battery on the board, as well as Nicki Paterson for setting up Gruenwald on the second goal.

    Sorry to have such a poor recap here. I was going to release this with some highlights, but USL Live isn't putting the Battery's matches in the archives very quickly. As soon as that comes out I'll have some though.

    The Battery will face the Harrisburg City Islanders this Saturday in a home fixture at Blackbaud Stadium. The match will kick at 7:30 PM and will be broadcast on USL Live.

    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Charleston-Wilmington Recap and Charleston-Richmond Preview

    Wilmington Defeats Charleston
    The Battery headed up to Wilmington yesterday, and had to come home with a disappointing 3-0 loss to the Hammerheads. This loss drops Charleston to 5th place in the American Division with only 11 points in 9 matches.

    Wilmington dominated the first 30 minutes or so, getting 3 corners and putting 2 shots on goal. They broke through in the 27th minute when Luke Mulholland knocked it in the back of the net off a pass from Andriy Budnyy.

    Charleston would get a couple of chances, but they were few and far between. The best chance of the half came when JC Mack took a shot from outside of the eighteen that would sail just wide. This gave Wilmington the slight advantage at the half.

    The Battery would put pressure on Wilmington in the second half, and thought they had equalized in the 72nd minute when Nicki Paterson volleyed a ball in from close range, off a scramble from a long throw in. After looking at the replay on USL Live, it is definitely not offsides. Paterson was even with one of the Wilmington players, and behind another. If you're interested in watching it yourself, go to the archived game on USL Live and the disallowed goal is around the 1:33 mark.

    After John Wilson was sent off for a reckless tackle, the Battery's hopes were dashed. Wilmington would add two goals in the 85th and 90th minutes. The first was scored by Luke Mulholland and the second came from Jack Avisyan.

    Goals will come, goals will come.

    PS: Great showing by both the Wilmington fans, and the Regiment which made a bus trip up to Legion Stadium and the presence in the stadium was felt.
    Scoring Summary Goal (Assist) Minute
    Wilmington Hammerheads Mulholland (Budnyy) 27
    Wilmington Hammerheads Mulholland 85
    Wilmington Hammerheads Aviyson 90
    Team Summary Wilmington Hammerheads
    Brock Duckworth, Tom Parrat (Jack Aviyson 78), Gareth Evans, Ivan Beccera, Ryan Riley, Luke Mulholland (Wolfe Tanner 86), Paul Nicholson, Manny Guzman (Tom Taylor 70), Alex Grendi, Andriy Budnyy (Andres Curro 72), Chris Banks (Jyler Noviello 81)

    Players Not Used - Kyle Polack, Chris Murray

    SHOTS: 8 (Mulholland 5); SAVES: 2 (Duckworth 2); FOULS: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; OFFSIDES: 0; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Parrat 45; EJECTIONS: (NONE)
    Team Summary Charleston Battery
    Keith Wiggans, Colin Falvey, John Wilson, Nigel Marples, Mark Wiltse, Evan Taylor, Cole Peverley (Zach Prince 59), Nicki Paterson, JC Mack (Stephen Armstrong 71), Diego Walsh (Alex Caskey 81), Brandon Massie (Seedy Bah 74)

    Players Not Used - Jon Gruenewald, Sean Flatley, Kevin Jackson

    SHOTS: 5 (Massie 3); SAVES: 3 (Wiggans 3); FOULS: 7 (Taylor 2); CORNER KICKS: 3; OFFSIDES: 2; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Wilson 28, Marples 38, Taylor 55; EJECTIONS: Wilson 78
    Charleston-Richmond Preview:
    The Battery will again try to break their scoreless streak, this time at home against the Richmond Kickers.
    Richmond Kickers:
    This Season: The Kickers are still undefeated through seven matches, and have earned 19 points, which is good enough for 2nd place in the American Division. The second place standing is a little misleading, considering that league-leading Orlando City has played nine games to Richmond's seven.
    Who's Playing Big: Matthew Delicate is still playing big, and is second in the league in goals. Other contributors such as Shaka Bangura and David Bulow (Each has 3 goals) have been contributing as well.
    Who Need's to Step Up: Let me be blunt. This a well-oiled machine, and is they have the best side in the league. Goals come easy, defending comes even easier, we should be seeing Richmond go very far this year.
    What to Expect:
    Once again, it is looking like the old 4-4-2:
    Marples Falvey Flatley Wiltse
    Paterson Walsh Taylor Armstrong
    Bah Mack
    With Dykstra still out, Wiggans will get another start between the pipes.

    Charleston's back is leaking oil, and will be much different from matches past. Wilson is out because of the straight red he received on Saturday. Zaher and Dugoni did not make the trip to Wilmington on Saturday, so they are both out. So Marples and Falvey stay on, while Flatley and Wiltse get rare starts.

    The midfield is ailing as well. Peverley has been called up by the New Zealand National Team (We're very proud!), so he won't be available. New addition Diego Walsh played well Saturday, and should get the start along with Paterson, Taylor, and Armstrong.

    Levi Coleman and Dane Kelly did not make the trip to Wilmington, so, barring a pair of surprise returns, we won't be seeing either of them. Looks like we'll see Seedy Bah and the versatile JC Mack will slide into those positions.

    This may very well be Charleston's toughest match of the year. They're up against the best team in the league and have 6 players out. Hopefully they can find a point some how, but it's not looking to good.

    The match will be broadcast on USL Live, and the Charleston Battery's twitter will be giving constant updates as well.

    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Preview: Wilmington-Charleston

    Tomorrow night, the Battery will head up US-17 to try to break their 3 1/2 game scoreless streak against the Wilmington Hammerheads. Here's a quick preview:

    Wilmington Hammerheads:
    This Season: Wilmington has been one of the biggest surprises in the USL Pro this season. The Hammerheads have 3 out of their first 4 games (losing the other the Richmond), and have scored a solid nine goals in those four matches. They currently stand 5th in the American Division and only one place behind the Battery, which is amazing considering that they have played half of the games.
    Who's Playing Big: The goals have been coming from everywhere for the Hammerheads, as 7 players have scored, while only Chris Banks has scored multiple goals. Goalkeeper Brock Duckworth has a 1.000 GAA (Goals Against Average) this season, which is solid.
    Who Needs to Step Up: The whole team is playing well, and the one loss against Richmond is the best loss you could possibly have. Again, having a 1.000 GAA as a team is very good.

    What to Expect:
    Charleston should come out in the usual 4-4-2:

    Marples Wilson Falvey Zaher
    Paterson Peverley Mack Armstrong
    Coleman Kelly
    Andrew Dykstra is still injured, and may not come back for a couple more weeks, so Wiggans will be between the pipes this week.

    The back has been playing very well, the 'O is just not producing the way that the Battery need. Marples, Wilson, Falvey, Zaher. Pretty standard stuff.

    Paterson, Peverley, and Armstrong continue to play quality ball, but Kevin Jackson played somewhat poorly last week. I'll slide JC Mack into his position and keep the rest of the midfield the same.

    Even thought the finishing has been poor lately, I think that Anhaeuser sticks with Coleman and Kelly up front. These two are good players, but they're just having some trouble finding the back of the net. I have no doubt that they will in the future.

    This is the Battery's second match of this year's Southern Derby, and it is their first competitive match with the Hammerheads since the 2004 edition of the US Open Cup.

    The match is at 7:30 and is at Legion Field in Wilmington. The match will be broadcast on USL Live. The Regiment is taking a bus up their, so the Battery will have strong fan support at this match.

    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.


    Monday, May 16, 2011

    USL Derby's: Are There Any True Rivalries in the League?

    I've been wanting to write this piece for awhile, but with the Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders match this previous Saturday, it seemed like the perfect time.
    Let's start with a fact: Rivalries are crucial to all sports.

    Major League Baseball has the Yankees and the Red Sox, the NBA has the Celtics and the Lakers, college football has Michigan-Ohio State, and the list goes on and on. But in soccer, there is something special.

    The derby (pronounced darby) is something that is unique to soccer, and is exhibited in leagues all around the world. Barcelona-Real Madrid, Manchester United-Manchester City, Celtic-Rangers, I could name them all day, but that's not the point I'm trying to make.

    What I'm trying to get at here is; Are there any real derby's in the USL? And the answer is a challenge.
    You may be wondering, "Why the USL? What about the MLS? There are plenty of clubs that have a hatred for each other in the top league."

    Well a couple of reasons. First off, its the league I cover, so I know the more about it than a lot of other leagues, and also the USL has been around longer than the MLS, so they've had more time for the rivalries to develop.

    Plus their are only two real rivalries in the MLS, the Rocky Mountain Cup between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids, and the Cascadia Cup which involves the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and Vancouver Whitecaps.
    The latter laid its ground in the NASL in the 70's and 80's, but developed in the USL in the late 90's and early 2000's. So its obvious that the USL can support rivalries, and that they aren't always friendly.
    Right now the rivalries are a little more laid back, and are a lot more likely to be discussed between the sides over a couple of drinks in the parking lot before the match than in previous years. But inside the stadium and within the various forms of internet taunting we still see some bad blood between a couple of teams.

    The Battery are involved in the Southern Derby, which currently also includes the Charlotte Eagles and Wilmington Hammerheads. Other teams that have participated in the past are; the Raleigh Express, Atlanta Silverbacks, and the Carolina Railhawks. This derby was completely fan-started and fan-based. Here's an article on No Quarter about it.

    Most of the others are pretty obvious, but not really official. You have the North Carolina Derby between the Eagles and the Hammerheads, and a brand new one up in Pennsylvania that's contested between the Harrisburg City Islanders and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

    Another rivalry/derby of note, is the most historic USL rivalry of all time. The Richmond Kickers and the Charleston Battery have played each other 42 times dating back to 1993. It couldn't be any closer, as both teams hold the same record (19-19-4) in this rivalry. They will face one more time this season to decide who will take the edge.

    Luckily for the fans in Chucktown, we have a few matches to look forward to every year that can be considered "derby's" or "rivalries." They may not be what they have over in Europe, but its our own little slice of what the rest of the world gets to enjoy.

    (Sorry about the formatting issues if there are any, Blogger seems to be having some technical difficulties.)

    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Battery's Scorless Streak Stretches to 405 Minutes in a Loss to FCNY

    Last night, the Battery faced the expansion FC New York in front of 3,328. Up to that point New York had earned two points in 4 matches, had scored just 2 goals, and had earned a fifth place spot in the National Division. The Battery, who hadn't scored a goal in 3 matches, but hadn't lost a home match since the 2009 season would host them.

    When you look at it that way it looks pretty even. One team that's apparently not very good, and one team that's been struggling. Seems like a fair fight to me.

    But let's be honest, everyone and their grandma expected the Battery to win this. Even I, maybe the most critical person of all, suspected that the Battery were just in a bit of a slump. But this is not so.

    Now its not time to panic yet, that's not what I'm saying. All I'm saying is that the Battery aren't as good as many, including myself, thought. There are some good pieces, Armstrong, Dykstra, Wilson, etc., and I do believe that they will make the playoffs, maybe they won't finish first or second, but they'll make it.

    The point is, the Battery won't be winning by any huge margins, or going on a road trip and cleaning house, or having the league's leading scorer. None of that is going to happen.

    What we will see for the rest of the season, is a team that will fight as hard as it can to find itself, find a scorer, and find some points.

    Anyway onto last night's match. By the way I wrote the series of paragraphs above, you should realize that the match did not go in the Battery's favor.

    The match started out well enough, defenders Marples and Falvey had a couple of chances in the first 30 minutes, and we saw the Battery dominate the first 30 minutes in both shots and possession.

    New York would strike in the 35th Graciano Brito galloped onto a long ball and shrugged off tackles from John Wilson and Colin Falvey to put it in past Wiggans from about 10 yards out.

    The Battery put in Dane Kelly for Seedy Bah up front, and Kelly made an immediate impact, getting some shots on goal, receiving some crosses, and passing decently.

    Still the Battery couldn't equalize.

    In the 90th minute, the Battery had their last chance to find an equalizer. Prince got the ball over on the left, and found a left footed shot on goal, but Steven Diaz saved it to deny the Battery a single point.

    This is a disappointing loss, but the Battery just need to work on finishing. The Battery had 10 shots to New York's 3 and the passing was fine, they just need to tweak our boots a little bit.

    If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com. Also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/scsoccerblog.

    Scoring Summary Goal (Assist) Minute
    New York Brito 35
    Team Summary Charleston Battery
    Keith Wiggans, John Wilson, Colin Falvey, Mike Zaher (Jon Gruenewald 85), Nigel Marples, Nicki Paterson, Kevin Jackson (Alex Caskey 45), Cole Peverley, Stephen Armstrong (Zach Prince 71), Levi Coleman (Brandon Massie 71), Seedy Bah (Dane Kelly 45)

    Players Not Used - Sean OConner, Mark Wiltse

    SHOTS: 10 (Falvey 3); SAVES: 1 (Wiggans 1); FOULS: 15 (Peverley 3); CORNER KICKS: 5; OFFSIDES: 1; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Armstrong 31, Falvey 67; EJECTIONS: (NONE)
    Team Summary New York
    Steven Diaz, Troy Cole, Kyle Hoffer, Sam Stockley, Josiah Snelgrove, Steven Roche, Tadeu Terra, Quame Holder (Gary Boughton 84), Johnny Arteaga, Owen Morrison (Paul Shaw 65), Graciano Brito

    Players Not Used - Derby Carrillo, Sam Craven, Steve Covino, Karseten Smith

    SHOTS: 3; SAVES: 4 (Diaz 4); FOULS: 12 (Brito 3); CORNER KICKS: 2; OFFSIDES: 2; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Brito 17, Morrison 37; EJECTIONS: (NONE)