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:
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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:
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Preview: Charleston-FC New York (Not really)

I'm not going to be writing a preview for tonight's match between the Battery and FC New York, but I do recommend a couple of things:
  1. Read No Quarter's preview, as well as the one on the Battery's website.
  2. Attend the match at the 'Baud.
  3. Come back here later for a post-match report.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Three Puerto Rican Teams Removed from the USL Pro

I'm taking a break from the USL Pro Weekly Observations to talk about some devastating news came out today. The three USL Pro teams based in Puerto Rico, River Plate Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico United, and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico were removed from the league. Yes, they didn't leave, they were removed.

The Puerto Rican teams failed to meet some of the standards of the USL. 2 of the 3 teams suffered major economic problems and medical stituation that forced the USL to remove the PRSL teams from the league.

USL CEO Alec Papadakis had this to say on the situation:

"In the best interests of USL PRO and its teams, it was necessary to remove the three PRSL teams. USL PRO has established high standards which are an integral component of the league model, and we are determined to preserve the integrity of these standards on and off the field. Dealing proactively with this situation allows us to reset our daily focus on supporting the efforts of our USL PRO teams in maintaining the league’s position as the strongest, best operated domestic league below MLS.”

There signs of this from the beginning of the season, especially in the case of Puerto Rico United.

An anonymous commenter on this blog posted this on one of my articles on April 20th:

"To say Puerto Rico United is a mess is an understatement! Been speaking to their players. Their owner is a joke, a phony and a habitual liar. He promises uniforms, places to live, player signings, and paychecks. He has come through on NOTHING!! These players have hung in there for the love of the game and a chance to play USL football. Players have been there for many weeks and NOT ONE HAS SEEN A SINGLE CENT. He shows occasionally and makes a promise to, THE NEXT DAY, pay them, move them into decent housing, and get them decent uniforms. He has done this repeatedly . He has broken these promises EVERY time he's made them. League officials need to step in and stop this player abuse or risk the integrity and reputation of the entire league."

Strong words.

Each team will still play 24 regular season matches, but some tweaking of the schedules will have to be made. So we might be seeing some teams more than twice.

Besides that, the main effect this will have on the Battery will be who we play on one of our nationally televised games. July 1st we were supposed to play Puerto Rico United, but this will not happen. We'll have to wait and see who we play, and if this game will still be televised, but I assume it will be.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: Battery, Cobras, MLS, EPL, and Andrew Dykstra for President?

Well a lot went down this past weekend in the soccer world. The Battery played two matches, history was made down in Columbia, among other things.

First off we had the Battery. Their first match this weekend ended in a scoreless draw with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, while the second was a 1-0 loss to the Rochester Rhinos.

The Central SC Cobras played their first match on Friday against the Charlotte Lady Eagles. Though the Cobras lost the match, it was considered a success for many reasons. The turn-out was great, the players now have something to gage the rest of the upcoming matches on, and not to mention that it was the first professional women's soccer match in South Carolina history.

In MLS action, two matches were nationally broadcast this weekend, both of which I caught.

On Friday we had the Portland Timbers playing host to the Philadelphia Union on Fox Soccer Channel. Portland continues to have amazing crowds, and the Timbers Army (which got its start in the USL) still creates one of the best atmospheres in North American soccer. Portland would win the match 1-0.

Late on Saturday night, the New York Red Bulls travelled across the States for a fixture with the Los Angeles Galaxy. And who else could have gotten the goals in this 1-1 draw besides Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry?  It was a great match.

And not to mention that Man U basically clinched the EPL title, and what is up with all these injuries in the MLS?

And apparently Andrew Dykstra is running for president:
I don't know about Dykstra's policies, but we definitely need to see one of these over in E10 for Dykstra's next start.

A bit of a rambling today, but thanks for reading if you've gotten this far!

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Charleston Draws with Pitt, Loses to Rochester

This weekend the Battery had two matches in two nights away at Pittsburgh and Rochester. The Battery only earned one point through both of these matches. Both of the results were disappointing, but understandable.

The first match against Pittsburgh was played Friday night at Chartiers Valley Stadium. Only 624 fans showed up to watch the match, which was understandable because of the bad weather conditions.

The Battery would manage 12 shots with 3 being on goal, while Pittsburgh would take 7 and getting none on goal, making it an easy night for Battery keeper Keith Wiggans.

Dane Kelly and Levi Coleman played well together, with Kelly getting a couple of shots that he sent wide, but the offense was limited for both sides.

Charleston had to play almost half the match short-handed when Evan Taylor was shown a straight red in the 53rd for a reckless tackle on Shintaro Harada.

The back line would stand strong for another 0-0 result, giving the Battery a much needed point on the road.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds:
Players: Hunter Gilstrap, Sterling Flunder, Kyle Veris (Chad Severs 71), Louie Rolko, Jason Kutney, Thabiso Khumalo (Niko Katic 45), Johnny Appiah, Shintaro Harada, Tommy Gray, Matt Fundy (Jeremy Deighton 80), Jason Yeisley
Shots(on goal): 7(0)
Saves: 3
Fouls: 10
Corner Kicks: 3
Offsides: 2
Cautions: Kutney 43, Katic 79

Charleston Battery:
Players: Keith Wiggans, Nigel Marples, Colin Falvey, John Wilson, Mike Zaher, Cole Peverley, Evan Taylor, Nicki Paterson, Stephen Armstrong, Levi Coleman (JC Mack 83), Dane Kelly (Kevin Jackson 79)
Shots: 12
Saves: 0
Fouls: 7
Corner Kicks: 7
Offsides: 1
Cautions: Peverley 51
Ejections: Taylor 53

On Saturday, the Battery would travel up I-79 to face the Rochester Rhinos at the beautiful Sahlen Stadium.

The match started off slowly, with each team getting a couple of shots, but no great scoring chances. Then in the 25th minute the Rhinos broke through.

Quavas Kirk made a run down the right and crossed the ball into Donatelli who volleyed it off the post. The ball would hit the back of a diving Keith Wiggans, and roll slowly into the net.

The Battery then had trouble gaining possession for the rest of the second half, and they would go in at halftime down 1-0.

Coming out of the locker rooms the Battery were doing well. The ball movement was much better and they had gotten some decent scoring chances, but they still couldn't break through.

Even when the Battery had used all their subs and only had two defenders left on the field, they couldn't put one in the back of the net, and the match would end in a victory for the Rhinos.

Man of the Matches: John Wilson
Wilson played great during both of the matches. He is the anchor of our back line, and still makes some of the best tackles you'll see in the USL. If the Battery didn't have Wilson, the back line wouldn't be very good. This is not just because of his skill, but also because of his experience.

Charleston went scoreless this weekend, and their scoreless streak is up to 315 minutes. The cure for the Battery is simple; put it in the back of the net. The back is playing well, and the Battery are just in a bit of a funk, that they need to shake.

The Battery play this Friday night against FC New York at 7:30 at Blackbaud Stadium. The game will be available on USL Live.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Preview(s): Charleston-Pittsburgh and Charleston-Rochester

After gaining 4 points in 2 matches last weekend, the Battery now head north for another two game spell against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Rochester Rhinos. Here's what to expect:

Pittsburgh Riverhounds:
This Season: The Riverhounds have only earned 4 points in their first four matches. They defeated Harrisburg 1-0, lost to Richmond 2-1, and lost to Wilmington 3-1. Last Saturday the Battery and the 'Hounds played to a scoreless draw at Blackbaud Stadium.
Who's Playing Big: Forward Jason Yeisley and Midfielder Shintaro Harada have been providing the offense for Pittsburgh, though the goals have been few and far between. Yeisley has a huge physical presence, and Harada has been playing well from what I have seen.
Who Needs to Step Up: The back line has been playing mediocre at best. The performance against the Battery may look good when you look at the stats, but when you look at the chances that the Battery had, at least one goal should have been up on the scoreboard.

Rochester Rhinos:
This Season: Last week the Rhinos finally notched their first points of the season in a 3-2 victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions. This was after opening their first two matches with two 1-0 losses to Richmond and Wilmington.
Who's Playing Big: Rochester is an interesting situation, because in last week's match with Dayton their back line played poorly, and their forwards played well. While in the previous two matches, the back has played well while the forwards couldn't put a single goal on the scoreboard.
Who's Needs to Step Up: Rochester will just be looking to get some consistent play from their whole squad. If they can start to get some goals consistently, they will be fine this season, as they have gotten more quality than poor play from the back.

What to Expect:
Charleston looks to come out in the usual 4-4-2 (Keep in mind that this is the best possible Starting XI as of right now, and will probably not be the line up for both Matches):
Wilson Falvey Zaher Marples
Paterson Peverley Mack Armstrong
Coleman Kelly
Keith Wiggans will continue to be in goal for the Battery while Andrew Dykstra tends to that injury.

The back line has stayed consistent all year, and should stay for these matches. Last week the defense only gave up 6 shots and no goals were scored.

The Midfield will have some changes from last week. We can expect Paterson and Peverley to play, as they have been playing quality ball and should be able to build on their previous performances this year. Armstrong should be back in the line up after a week off. My one "wildcard" if you will, is JC Mack. Mack played great in last weekend's matches.

Levi Coleman and Dane Kelly are no doubt the best two candidates for the forwards. Coleman played possibly his best match of the season last week (and should have scored), and Kelly is also peaking right now, and the chemistry between him and Coleman has been wonderful in recent matches.

The match with Pittsburgh on Friday night will not be available on USL Live, but will be on 1340 in Charleston and on the Battery's website. The Rochester match will be broadcast on USL Live, and coverage will start at 7:00.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at Also follow me on twitter!/scsoccerblog.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Articles of the Week

So here's a new idea I had today. I'm going to try out a weekly post where I just post some of the best articles from around the soccer world, plus the ones that I just liked. So here we go:
-The Free Beer Movement has been doing this weekly series called "Better Know A Supporter's Group," which you should check out. This week's is on the Screaming Eagles of DC United. I recommend you read the whole series.
-Three from No Quarter. Always quality.
-The Shin Guardian released a great piece called, "The Moment: Genesis of a Salute," about the salute to Charlie Davies at the USMNT's World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica in 2009, just days after Davies was in car accident. Here's a picture:
-Good article on the USA's prospective 2011 Gold Cup Roster.

Alrighty, just a quick little thing that I'll try to make a weekly series.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

USL Pro: Week 4 Observations

Once again here's my review of the on-goings in the USL Pro last week:
  • Kickers Stay Undefeated: In Richmond's first road match of the season, they faced the Dayton Dutch Lions at Miami Valley South Stadium. And they won it convincingly, 6-0. What a result. This team is hot, and there's a reason why; They're the best team. The Kickers are getting quality play from everywhere, and the Kickers will easily cruise to the American Division title if they keep this form.
  • Battery Gain 4 Points in Two Matches: Charleston played two matches this weekend, one on Friday and one on Saturday. The first match was a 2-1 victory against the Charlotte Eagles in a match played in Rock Hill. The second was a home match for the Battery against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Battery out shot the 'Hounds 17-6, but couldn't find the back of the net and the match ended in a scoreless draw.
  • Wilmington Continue Hot Streak: The Hammerheads have opened the season with two straight wins, and this 3-1 result against Pittsburgh can only boost their confidence. Late goals from Paul Nicholson and Alex Grendi put the Hammerheads over the Riverhounds, and gave Wilmington their second win of their young season. We will see what they are really made of when they travel to Richmond next week.
  • FC New York Score First Goal, But Can't Hold Off City: New York got their first goal from Owen Morrison in the 54th minute of their home opener. But the capacity crowd would go home unhappy with New York losing on two Orlando City goals.
  • News for Both Lions: On the Orlando City side, we have City signing two new players, forward Dennis Chin and former College of Charleston player Justin Fojo. Over in Dayton, the Dutch Lions have announced a benefit match for the Connor Senn Memorial Fund, where they will play the Ohio State University. The match will be played in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, which is where the Ohio State soccer and lacrosse teams play.
  • Blues Drop Home Opener to 'Cudas: Antigua Barracuda FC spoiled the Blues' party on Sunday when they sent LA home with a loss in their first ever home match. Stefan Smith would get the only goal in the match to bring his scoring total for the year up to 3.
Biggest Surprise: Richmond dismantiling Dayton
Now the result of the match wasn't surprising (as most people would agree that Richmond was the favorite), but for Richmond to lay the smack down on Dayton this bad is surprising. The goals came from Nyazamba, Heins,  Bulow, Bangura, with Matthew Delicate also adding two goals to his season tally. This was the biggest defeat for any team in the league this season.
Biggest Disappointment: Blues lose their home opener
The LA Blues have been playing great all season, and even had a win at Antigua Barracuda, but they couldn't find the net even once during their home opener. I fully expected the Blues to come out and play with the same quality they have been playing on their trip in the Caribbean, but apparently that was not the case.
Player of the Week: Matthew Delicate
Delicate continues to put balls in the back of the net. Delicate has scored a league leading 4 goals in his 5 games with the Kickers this season and a two-goal performance against Dayton last weekend can only help his case for USL Pro Player of the Year.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Central SC Cobras Home Opener 4 Days Away

This Friday night a milestone will be achieved: The first professional women's soccer team in South Carolina will play their first match.

I'm of course talking about Central SC Cobras FC, which plays its first match against the Charlotte Lady Eagles this Friday night. The process for the organization leading up to this achievement was not an easy road.

It all started back in 2009 when the Cobras were founded. The team was formed in 2010, and they were admitted in to the USL's W-League on April 1, 2011.

This will be a huge match for the brand new team, and they're hoping for a good crowd to be on hand at Ben Lippen High School's Hatthaway-Weeber Stadium this Friday at 7:00 PM.

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Charleston Held by Pittsburgh for a Draw

Last night the Charleston Battery played their second match in two days against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in Charleston. The Riverhounds held the Battery for a 0-0 draw in front of 4,079 fans at Blackbaud Stadium.

Dane Kelly got the match started off quickly. In fact it only took him about 30 seconds to get a shot on goal. He came in off a good run and got into the box on the left side, but his shot was saved by Pittsburgh keeper Hunter Gilstrap.

Kelly would get another chance just minutes later. He would find Gilstrap off his line just enough to attempt to slide the ball past him. Gilstrap would make a last second kick-save to preserve the clean sheet.

The chances were back in forth, but the Battery had the majority of them, along with the possession.

In the 23rd minute, Levi Coleman stripped a Riverhound defender and had just the keeper to beat, but shot it wide. This was probably Charleston's best chance of the night.

Kelly continued to be active, and nailed a shot off the post in the 24th minute, after JC Mack crossed it in.

The Battery thought they had scored in the 36th minute when Levi Coleman slid a ball into the back of the net off a Cole Peverley pass, but he was caught off side. I don't think he was offside, and we'll have to wait for the archived game on USL Live to see.

The rest of the game was lacking of great chances, aside from a Riverhounds free kick in stoppage time of the second half, and the match would end 0-0.

Man of the Match: Dane Kelly
Kelly finally showed up and looked great for a game for once. He was making effective runs and was very active from the moment he stepped on the pitch. The combination of him and Coleman up front looks to be working great, and they have developed a great chemistry with each other that should be resulting in a huge amount of goals in the next couple of matches.

Honorable Mentions: Levi Coleman and Keith Wiggans

The Battery had 17 shots compared to just 6 by the Riverhounds, and the legitimate scoring chances for Pittsburgh were few and far between. Charleston should have won this game and the result is disappointing to say the least.

On the bright side, the pink jerseys looked great and the Kick for a Cure was a huge success.

The Battery now travel on up to face Pittsburgh at their place on Friday and then they will play at Rochester. The Pittsburgh match will be available on 1340 AM in Charleston as well on The match with Rochester will be broadcast on USL Live.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at Also follow me on twitter!/scsoccerblog.