Thursday, February 17, 2011

Charleston Battery: US Open Cup, Charlie Davies Visiting Charleston, and More

Besides the upcoming USL Pro season, the Battery have the Carolina Challenge Cup in early March, a pair of mid-season matches against local colleges in mid-March, and now the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup to play.

Today it was announced that the Battery's first round match in the US Open Cup will be against a team that qualifies for the tournament from the  USASA (United States Adult Soccer Association). The Battery will play at home on June 14th against one of these teams. The tournament will consist of 40 teams; 8 from the MLS (6 automatic bids, and 2 for the winners of a 10 team playoff), the 11 U.S. based USL Pro teams, 9 from the PDL, and 12 from the USASA. Seattle Sounders FC will be the returning champs and are going for their 3rd straight US Open Cup championship.

The Battery have had success in the US Open Cup (see the 2008 tournament), as well as against MLS teams. Last year the Battery got to the quarterfinals, with wins over the USASA's Capital Area Soccer League Elite (CASL Elite), the USSF D2's Carolina Railhawks (who happen to share a stadium), and the MLS' Chicago Fire on PK's, before losing to the Columbus Crew. The two games against the CASL Elite and Carolina Railhawks were played at Blackbaud Stadium while the two games against Major League Soccer teams were played away.

The US Open Cup is my favorite part about soccer in the United States, due to its similarity to the FA Cup, and I'm excited as always to the see the Battery playing in this great tournament. Hopefully we'll see good first and second round match-ups so we can face an MLS side in the round of 16 like last year. The Carolina Challenge Cup could give us a look to future matches in the US Open Cup. Toronto FC can't play in the US Open Cup because, well they're a Canadian team. DC United and Chicago Fire are not automatic qualifiers for the Cup, but are playing for 2 of the berths, and with the addition of Charlie Davies, DC should have no problem qualifying.

Speaking of Charlie Davies, we're gonna be seeing him in the Carolina Challenge Cup! A couple of days ago it became official that Davies will be playing for United next year. I can't begin to explain how excited I am about DC signing Davies. Though having USMNT players playing against the best over in Europe is great, it's also nice to be able to see them play here in the US, and when they're coming to Charleston, that quadruples the excitement.

On the women's side, the Central SC Cobras have been very busy. This Saturday, the Cobras will be holding an open tryout from 9:00-4:00 at North Springs Park in Columbia. Good luck to all that will be trying out, and hopefully in a while they'll be competing for a W-League championship. They also have been releasing videos on a YouTube page called OPP2434. Make sure to check that out as well as this page where they are selling shirts, and keep giving support to the Cobras as they make the transition into the W-League.

Also check out this article on The Shin Guardian. The article talks about the possibility of an MLS expansion team in the Southeast.

If you have any questions or if you need to contact me, you can e-mail me at

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