Sunday, February 13, 2011

Charleston Battery: Possible Starting XI

With the Carolina Challenge Cup coming up in less than a month, the Battery roster should be coming together. But it really isn't. On the Battery website the roster only lists 12 players:
  • Goalkeepers: Or should I say goalkeeper. The only keeper listed is the recently signed Keith Wiggans, who is a 6 year veteran for the Battery and I'm perfectly confident in his ability. His GAA (goals against average) is solid at 1.08.
  • Defenders: Colin Falvey, Mike Zaher, Nigel Marples, and Brandon Massie round out the current defenders on the Battery roster. Falvey is obviously a solid defender, barring an occasional sloppy challenge like at the USL-2 Championship last year. Zaher is also good and has some MLS experience. Marples also has some experience and logged many useful minutes for the Battery last year. Massie is playing his second season with Battery, and is listed on the Battery's website as a defender though he was brought to the team as a striker/midfielder.
  • Midfielders: If there is one position I feel good about, it's at midfield. The midfield will consist of Stephen Armstrong, Alioune Gueye, Kevin Jackson, Nicki Paterson, and Jon Gruenewald. Stephen Armstrong has been in Charleston since 2006 and has become a staple at the Battery's games. He has scored 24 goals and dished out 11 assists in his career. His 24 goals is fifth all time in the Battery's history. It was interesting to see how he adjusted last year, when he was put into less of a goal scoring role. He did well and had 3 assists along with one goal from a PK in the 2010 season. Alioune Gueye scored only 2 goals with no assists last season, but brings a flair to the games that I've enjoyed watching. Kevin Jackson is arguably the most experienced player on the so far 12-man roster. He played for the Battery from 2003 to 2005 before taking a four year break. Last year he returned to the Battery and scored 1 goal and had 2 assists in 17 appearances last year. Nicki Paterson, one of the Battery's newest signings, will be joining the Battery for the first time this season. Last year with Real Maryland Monarchs he scored no goals in 19 appearances. Jon Gruenewald is the least experienced player in the midfield joining the Battery for his second pro season. Last year he appeared 9 times for the Battery, with 3 starts.
  • Forwards: Only two forwards are listed on the roster and they are Zach Prince and Levi Coleman. Zach Prince will be returning for a second season with Charleston. He was used a lot last year, usually as a sub. He made 16 appearances with 3 starts. In all of his appearances he scored one goal with no assists. Levi Coleman is also coming back to Charleston for a second season. And he is tall, standing at 6-2. He scored 2 goals and had 2 assists in 2010. Prince and Coleman could play similarly up front as Heinemann and Neagle played last year (Probably not as good though, let's face it Tom and Lamar tore it up), with Prince playing the role of Neagle as the speed and Coleman playing the role of being huge (though not as big as Heinemann who was 6-4) and knocking people around inside the box.
Overall not too bad. The roster is obviously thin and leading up to the CCC we should see Charleston sign some more players, and hopefully find some young players to give a shot at playing professionally. We have no depth at all, and we need to fill holes at every position. The current roster suffers from some inexperience, but has enough veterans to survive. At worst we need to get:
  • A back up keeper for Wiggans
  • Three more Defenders
  • Three more Midfielders
  • One preferably two forwards. Getting one striker, and one that we can put at midfield would be helpful.
Right now our starting XI would look like this, assuming we come out in a 4-4-2:
This is just my best guess (and I'm sorry Jon Gruenewald somebody had to be left out). But a couple of things, I can assure you of. Wiggans will start in goal, and Armstrong, Falvey, Gueye, and Zaher all look to be locks for starting positions, but we'll see where we're at before and after the Carolina Challenge Cup.

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1 comment:

  1. in my opinion Coleman and Prince make a very good partnership they complement each other and have scored several goals since they started to play together