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.

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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.

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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 Also follow me on twitter!/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 Also follow me on twitter!/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:

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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 Also follow me on twitter!/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
    • 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 Also follow me on twitter!/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 Also follow me on twitter!/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 Also follow me on twitter!/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 Also follow me on twitter!/scsoccerblog.