Preview: Battery travel to Orlando for first away test of 2016

It took a 94th minute winner by Romario Williams to give the Battery their first three points of the season in their opener last week, but the team will be hoping that will give them momentum in their first away day of 2016. A trip to newly-formed Orlando City B.

OCB are the USL B team of former rivals Orlando City SC, who now ply their trade in MLS. One must wonder if the same rivalry will be there between the two sides when the Battery faces off against the new side.

The team are managed by former OCSC player Anthony Pulis, and for those who find that name familiar, Pulis is the son of West Brom manager Tony Pulis, who the Battery had the chance to face in a friendly in the middle of last year.

OCB’s last match (their first in history) was a tough loss against Wilmington, wherein, like the Battery’s match, was marred with a lightning delay. The result was 2-1, with center back Andrew Ribiero scoring the first and only goal.

OCB feature three of their parent club’s MLS players, ​goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, defender Tyler Turner and striker Brian Rochez are all on long term loans to the B team, while goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr was down for last week’s loss.

Another player to watch is 17-year-old striker Pierre da Silva, US Youth international who played 79 minutes last week, while the aforementioned Rochez came in for him off the bench.

For the Battery, full back Emmanuel Adjetey trained this week after missing the opener against Cincinnati with bruising on his foot, whilst Quinton Griffith and Naveal Hackshaw were also away on international duty. Both are expected to be available for Friday, but according to manager Mike Anhaeuser, are unlikely to start. Adjetey especially is likely to be listed as “probable”.

There are, perhaps, two interesting questions headed into this game in terms of personnel for the Battery. Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis kept two clean sheets in the Battery’s two previous games, the first against the Cosmos in the last preseason game, and in the season-opening win against Cincinnati last week, and might once again keep Odisnel Cooper on the bench this week. However, the manager established somewhat of a precedent last year of giving Cooper the starts in home matches, and giving Kevin Corby, his usual deputy, minutes away from home. We’ll see if he does so this time.

The second question being if the manager will stick with Heviel Cordoves up front, with Ricky Garbanzo in behind, or reward Romario Williams’ game winning efforts with a start. Cordoves and Garbanzo, despite their best efforts (Cordoves in particular hit the post from at least 25 yards in the first half) were kept relatively quiet against Cincy, and so the boss might look to change things up.

Nevertheless, it looks to be an exciting start to the Battery’s road campaign, and they will be hoping to pull off a result against the newcomers to continue momentum as the season kicks on.

Top Image Credit Ross Almers

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Road Warriors: Three rules for Regiment away days.

A/N: Regiment Prez Mike Buytas is back for another Regiment update. This time he highlights the importance of the fans’ presence on their travels as well as at Home.

As the Battery head to their first away match of the season, it isn’t uncommon to see Battery fans sporting black and yellow wherever they are playing. Not a surprising fact given the Battery’s long history. Often these fans are friends or family of players. Some have connected to the Battery one way or another. Others have lived in Charleston for one reason or another and fell in love with Battery.

But there are a few diehards that travel to away matches as often as possible.

The Regiment tries to facilitate these fans as much as possible, either coordinating group tickets, car pools and caravans to organizing charter buses (look for details on our annual bus trip soon!) And similar to the way the way the Regiment extends an invitation to join their tailgates to visiting fans, often the rival supporters group so the same.

Road trips to these matches offer a chance to experience your team in a different environment and make some new friends. Maybe trade a scarf or partake in a local beer. And without a doubt, the players certainly appreciate the support away from home.

This Friday the Battery’s travels will take them to the outskirts of Orlando and Melbourne Florida where they will take on Orlando City B. If you’re making the trip down here are a couple pointers:

  1. Always be Classy Battery fans have a good reputation around the league. We are from the friendliest city in America after all! Let’s keep it that way!
  2. Tailgate Tailgating is a great way of meeting the opposing fans and having a good time. Take some swag to trade!
  3. Get in Touch With the Regiment that is. We have a very good relationship with our front office and chance are we can help with discounted tickets and let you know about others going down and any tailgates or events to check out. Message us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Regiment843/ twitter @TheRegiment2 or via our website www.regiment843.com
Remember you can visit The Regiment’s Facebook page by clicking the link on our site

Late drama gives Battery rain-soaked opening win

Montreal Impact loanee Romario Williams was the hero for the Battery on Saturday night, scoring a 94th minute winner with what proved to be just about the last kick of the game, earning his team a massive three points from their first game of the season.

It was a match that was delayed due to lightning in the area. The original kick-off time was scheduled for 7:30, but players emerged for warm-ups at 8:00, with the match itself kicking off at about 8:20.

Despite the delay, the Battery did start the brighter of the two teams, and could’ve had a penalty as early as the fourth minute, when striker Heviel Cordoves latched on to a through ball over the top and went down under contact from his marker. Referee Leland Grant, however, was having none of the arguments, and waved play on.

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In the 11th minute, Cordoves fashioned himself another chance, when his speculative effort from all of 25 yards whacked the post, leaving Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt scrambling.

Justin Portillo took a free kick from the left side on 13 which could have proved dangerous, but it went over everyone’s head and out for a free kick.

Cincinnati’s Harrison Delbridge went down with a knock on 24 minutes, and required attention. He would eventually would have to be subbed off at half time.

Jimmy McLaughlin was a spark for Cincinnati, overlapping both wings from time to time, and used pace to get down the flank on 31, but only saw his  ensuing cross deflect off of him for a goal kick.

McLaughlin was again a handful a couple minutes later on 35, making a good run before going down inside the box, though nothing was given and play resumed.

On 39, a counter attack from deep eventually found its way to the Battery’s  Attulah Guerra, who had a decent first half on his competitive debut, but his ball in search of the front men was just too long.

A shot more in hope than expectation on the half volley from Battery midfielder Zach Prince went high over the bar, meaning that at half time, the score remained 0-0.

At half time, while both sides were doing a lot of running and keeping possession relatively well, there was little to show for it. There were four shots in total, with three going the way of the home side, and each sharing a shot on target.

Two minutes after the half-time break, Forrest Lasso committed a foul in a dangerous position, giving Cincinatti their first opportunity of the half. The ensuing free kick was hit low and hard toward the far post, which had ‘keeper Alex Tambakis scrambling, but the ball went out for a goal kick.

Three minutes later, it was Tambakis again needing to be on his toes, when a shot from outside the box tested him, but the save was made relatively easy by the lack of power.

Another free kick went through traffic on 57, but again found its way to Tambakis with no real danger.

On 63, Cincinnati would make their second sub, replacing Andrew Weidemann with Antione Hoppenot, as they looked to press forward, with Hoppenot being a second striker.

On 65 minutes, a deep cross from a Cincinnati corner kick was headed back across at the back post, but the ball bounced before connecting with a second head and going wide of Alex Tambakis’ goal.

After 66 minutes, Heviel Cordoves found himself with space at the byline, before cutting in and having the ball taken from under his feet. The ball popped out to Zach Prince, whose shot rose high over the bar.

On 68, Forrest Lasso thought he had the Battery’s opening goal of the campaign, after latching on to a corner that wasn’t cleared, but it was disallowed for offside.

Two minutes later, it was time for the Battery’s first sub. Coming off was Heviel Cordoves, who put in a decent shift in his own right, and coming on was Romario Williams.

Maikel Chang, who was the Battery’s assist leader last year, and had two assists in their last preseason friendly against the New York Cosmos, had himself a run shortly after, before cutting in and seeing his shot go wide.

Jimmy McLaughlin served in a tasty ball into the penalty area on 73, but no one in a Cincinnati shirt was there to poke it home, and it went all the way through

It didn’t take Williams long to get going up front, and on 78, he had the Battery’s best chance to that point, when a ball from midfield put him clean through, although Cincinnati ‘keeper Hildebrandt was alive to the danger, coming out of his box and snuffing out the chance by cutting down the angle, whilst the onrunning Maikel Chang was unable to get a clean shot from the rebound. Hildebrandt came off the worse for wear despite his heroics, though, requiring treatment before being allowed to continue.

Dante Marini replaced Ricky Garbanzo on 79, and while Garbanzo had a few good touches on the ball throughout the evening, his job was made difficult by near constant physical battles with Cincinnati defenders. The substitution of Marini not only gave a threat and fresh legs going forward, but gave Garbanzo a much needed rest.

Attulah Guerra thought he might have stolen in 6 minutes from time, when a good ball from Zach Prince put him in on goal, only to see his shot take a lick of the post on its way out for a goal kick.

However, the final say would belong to the home side, as the Battery dug deep given four minutes of added on time at the end of the 90. It was Romario Williams who would latch on to an Obrien Woodbine cross after the full back marched forward from midfield. Williams took a touch, beat his defender, and sneak the ball in under Hildebrandt in the Cincinnati goal. The new signing raced away to celebrate his first goal with The Regiment in E1, and shortly after kick off from the ensuing euphoria, the referee blew the final whistle, giving the Battery an all important first three points from their opening game of the season.

And so, despite the rain, and a hard-fought 90 minutes, it was the Battery who have their first win of the season. Next up, the Battery travel to Orlando, to take on Orlando City B on the 1st of April. Kick off is at 7:30. 

Photo Credit Ross Almers.

 

 

 

 

 

Regiment looks to continue tradition going into 2016

A/N The Regiment are the Battery’s first Official Fan Club, with members following the Battery home and away since 1999. Speaking to President Mike Buytas, he outlined the Regiment’s plans and hopes for 2016.

The Regiment, Charleston Battery’s oldest supporters group, are bringing our support to the Battery for the 2016 season. Growing each year, the Regiment is honing what we do well and to further its reach and supporting our motto of “Supporting the Battery on and off the pitch.”

We have always had a good voice in the stadium and have become more organized in the stands over the last couple years. And while we have always helped local charities, this season we hope to take that to the next level and be more visible off the field helping the charities that the players have selected this year.

Tailgates are something that we’ve gotten pretty good at. The Regiment provide the protein; anything from pork tenderloin to lowcountry boil to hot dogs, and guest are encouraged to bring a side or some beverages to share. If you haven’t been to one before, just swing by and grab some food and a drink, introduce yourself around and enjoy!

Tailgates are a lot of fun but also have another purpose, to help grow the soccer culture in Charleston. It gives fans a chance to socialize before the match, to talk about MLS or EPL. Catch up on what going on in our day to day lives. We feel it cements the “family” feel of being a member of the Regiment brings. If one of our members has an issue in their life , we do what we can to help out.

This year, the Regiment also started a website allowing people to sign up for memberships online. Memberships start at $20 and include several items and perks. Beside the regiment pin and discounts in the Battery pro shop, you get two “Ambassador Tickets” for any regular season match and discounts and invites to Regiment specific events. But wait! There’s more! Depending on the level of membership, you can choose between some great Regiment items like our polo shirts or our new summer weight scarf!

To join our the fun and not miss out on our upcoming Regiment bus trip, players appreciation picnic and other events get your membership at www.regiment843.com You can also get information about our tailages there and keep up to date with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Regiment843/ or twitter @theRegiment2

A/N Please note that you can visit the Regiment’s Facebook by clicking the link at the top of our page

Battery 2016 Season: A Definitive Preview

Going into the new season presents a new chapter, and new challenges. While the offseason provided its ups and downs, one could make a case for the former being more present than the latter.

One change, and perhaps the biggest, is the sale of the club to B Sports Entertainment. After many years led by Tony Bakker, the founder of software company Blackbaud, a new day dawns for the Battery, one which has fans abuzz with excitement. The biggest change (for now, at least) may be the 90×32 ft replay screen. The buyout is one which the Battery hopes will continue to “accelerate the recent growth” of the side.

As far as the on-field things go, the Battery have lost some of their most influential players from 2015. One being Dane Kelly, (now with Sporting Kansas City B team Swope Park Rangers) who accounted for 14 goals last year, including Cup and Playoff games, and Jarad van Schaik, (who has joined NASL side Rayo OKC) who had established himself as a lynchpin in the midfield alongside Justin Portillo.

Despite this, many players stuck around for the 2016 season. The defense that held firm for the Battery in 2015 stays largely intact, with club Defender of the Year Shawn Ferguson and center back partner Taylor Meuller  signed on for 2016, while both regular full backs Obrien Woodbine and Quinton Griffith both return. Behind them in goal, Odisnel Cooper stays on, while in midfield, Zach Prince begins his 8th season with the Battery, making him the longest serving player on the team, and the aforementioned Justin Portillo was one of the first to sign on for the new season. Assist leader Maikel Chang and Dante Marini give the side a bit of depth on the wing, and Heviel Cordoves looks to add to his decent return up front, while midfielder Ricky Garbanzo, will hope to continue the high-pressing, fast paced performances of his first season.

An affiliation with fledgling MLS side Atlanta United FC could prove to be fruitful, with them supplying Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis on loan for the 2016 season. This provides, at the very least cover for regular ‘keeper Cooper, and also much needed competition.

As well as Tambakis, Jamaican forward Romario Williams joins from the Montreal Impact on loan, looking to fill the void left by Dane Kelly, while also providing cover for Cordoves. Forward Ataulluah Guerra also gives options, and also a little bit of international experience, while the signing of multiple strikers might see the Battery change systems at one point or another during the season depending on player form. Midfielder Naviel Hackshaw, as with Guerra, comes from Trinadad and Tobago, and will surely be looking to establish himself alongside Justin Portillo in the center of the park.

Four members of the SC Battery Academy have joined the side, including Cole Gulledge, who can play in midfield or defense, midfielder Alex Anderson, Connor Sloan, who can play in the middle or up front, and striker Robbie Robertson. Keep in mind that registered academy players are allowed to play in the USL without losing College eligibility.

A productive preseason ended with a bang against the New York Cosmos, with Ricky Garbanzo scoring a brace, and Dante Marini also on the scoresheet.

The Battery start their season, and finish, at home. The first match of the season is against FC Cincinatti, and they finish against New York Red Bulls II. Other notable fixtures include a trip to Florida against Orlando City B, whose parent club we enjoyed a heated rivalry with during their USL days, with Southern Derby matches against Wilmington Hammerheads on April 9th at MUSC Health Stadium, and May 21st and August 20th in North Carolina. Matches against the Richmond Kickers, which stands to be the longest running series in American Soccer, are on July 2nd at MUSC Health Stadium,  and August 17th and September 17th in Richmond. Three games against Charlotte Independence come on April 17th away from home, and August 3rd and 27th at MUSC Health Stadium. The aforementioned Orlando City B host the Battery on April 1st, and visit Charleston on June 11th and July 13th.

The Battery look to build on a 3rd place finish in the eastern conference in 2015, looking to add to a rich history that started in 1993, making them one of the most storied clubs in American Soccer. Will they add a fifth star to the badge come October? Only time will tell.