Midweek Headlines: SSC merger, Williams ban reduced

Summerville Soccer Club has merged with the new Charleston Battery Soccer Club Youth Academy, and Romario Williams has served his ban after a red card against Richmond. It’s all in the Midweek Headlines.

Following last week’s announcement of the Battery’s new Youth Academy, the club  announced a merger with Summerville Soccer Club on Wednesday following a vote from the SSC board of directors and parents.

The club has been a staple of youth soccer in the area for 35 years, having been active since 1981. It currently is home to approximately 1,100 players, who will become the first players to play for Charleston Battery Soccer Club.

Romario Williams was issued a red card for a kick out at a defender against the Richmond Kickers last weekend and subsequently handed a three game ban. However following extensive conversations with the league, the ban had, as of Wednesday evening, been reduced to one match, and was served in Wednesday’s win over the Charlotte Independence, making him eligible for the clash with Orlando City B on Saturday, the 23rd.

The match against Orlando kicks off at 7:30 and is available to watch on MyTV Charleston or stream on the club’s website.

TOP IMAGE: ROMARIO WILLIAMS HOLDS OFF A MAN BEFORE RECIEVING A RED CARD IN HIS LAST APPEARANCE FOR THE BATTERY AGAINST RICHMOND

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Battery, Fleet launching joint Youth Academy

Charleston Battery Soccer Club, a joint Youth Club venture between the two highest level soccer clubs in the Charleston area, Charleston Battery and Charleston Fleet will begin offering Youth programs for both Boys and Girls at multiple levels this fall.

The club will offer programs at Recreational, Micro, Junior Academy, and Elite Levels, with plans to launch a U.S. Soccer Development Academy in the pipeline.

The program will offer leagues, camps, and tournaments for boys and girls from ages 4-18, with the goal to offer a “direct path” from Youth to Professional teams for both boys and girls in the interest of “growing the game both locally and nationally.” The boys will play under the Battery crest, with the girls playing under the Fleet crest.

To oversee the new Academy, the clubs are on the lookout for a Youth Technical Director, with more information promised in the near future.

In the meantime, you can follow the new academy on Twitter @CHSBatterySC for updates.

Defense stands strong as Fleet prevail in inaugural match

Charleston’s newest sporting edition, WPSL’s Charleston Fleet took home the spoils of their inaugural match, winning against the Carolina Rapids by a score of 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sarah Cardamone.

The first match in the club’s history took place at the Charleston Battery’s MUSC Health Stadium, with whom they are affiliated with as part of the Battery’s “’93 Night” promotion. The match started at 4PM, before the Battery kicked off at 7, and saw the women’s side make history with their first win at the first opportunity.

The goalscorer Cardamone was on the front foot straight away, as she got the ball just past midfield and turned toward goal in hopes to find a through ball forward into space for a run on, but it would be collected easily by the Rapids goalkeeper and the chance was gone.

The vistors would then have a corner in the 11th minute, but it was cleared away by what would remain a staunch defense for the Fleet throughout the day.

And then, in the 14th, came the breakthrough. An errant pass back gave Sarah Cardamone the chance to pounce, and though the ball got to its intended recipient in the shape of one of the center backs, Cardamone didn’t give her a moment’s peace, stealing the ball and going clean through before taking a touch and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

It was history for the Fleet, as it was the first goal in team history, and surely one to remember for Cardamone herself, as a goal such as that isn’t something you forget easily.

Nearly ten minutes later, it could’ve been two. Cardamone was the danger again, latching onto a through ball that just forced her slightly wide and away from goal, before she squared up and went around her marker, but her shot from a tight angle went into the side netting.

The next real chance came for the Fleet again on 37′, when a shot from distance from Amber Adams would find its way onto the crossbar after beating the ‘keeper, but the effort would eventually be cleared.

And so, the Fleet would go in at half-time a goal to the good. They had had the better running in the first half, with the home side creating most of the real chances.

Though it could’ve easily been level just after the break. In the 47th minute, an errant pass out of the back led a Rapids striker clean through, but Fleet goalkeeper Sandy Maciver set her feet well and got behind the effort to parry the ball away and clear.

Maciver was perhaps one of the most interesting players to watch, very comfortable with the ball at her feet, especially for a goalkeeper and able to pick a pass, while being assertive coming off of her line and not afraid to get herself involved if she felt the need to intervene, applying what many refer to as being a “sweeper-keeper” in order to break up the opponent’s attacks and start one for her own side.

She was part of a defense that to that point had only allowed that one notable chance, and the Fleet would hope that would continue.

And with seven minutes to go, the Fleet could’ve had a second goal to put the game to bed. when a free kick from the left was headed down at the back post and into the ground, but lacked direction as it bounced just wide.

And that was how it finished. The Charleston Fleet would edge out a 1-0 win in their first match thanks to Sarah Cardamone’s 14th minute goal. It’s a quick turnaround for the new side though, whose next match is against the Lake Norman Eclipse on Sunday, June 4th. Kick off is at 1PM at Patriot’s Point.

Battery get revenge on Jacksonville to advance in Open Cup

The Charleston Battery’s fourth round US Open Cup tie against the Jacksonville Armada was settled by a 24th minute own goal, which was enough to see them through after a tough defensive showing from the Black and Yellow.

The Battery put out what was pretty much their first choice XI in what was their third match in six days, with Forrest Lasso back after missing the last two matches, and Tah Brian Anunga slotting in at right back for Quinton Griffith. Odisnel Cooper kept his place in goal whilst the tandem of Romario Williams and Attaula Guerra would play up front.

The Battery had chances early, and even had the ball in the net as early as the 10th minute, but the whistle blew for offside and the score remained 0-0.

Romario Williams sent a chance wide of the target on 17′, as the Battery looked to be in control in the early goings.

But the Armada had a chance at the other end a few minutes later, as striker Byram Rebellon sent a chance wide of Odisnel Cooper’s goal.

And then, in the 24th minute, the Battery broke the deadlock. It was set up by a well timed ball into the feet of Attaula Guerra, who would peel off his man and get to the byline before putting the ball low and hard into the middle. The cross failed to find an attacker’s foot, but instead found Drew Beckie, a Jacksonville defender, whose clearance was arrant and rolled into the net to make it 1-0. Guerra would injure himself producing the chance, however, and would eventually have to be replaced by Dante Marini.

Former USL standout Mechack Jerome had the next chance shortly after when he stood at the controls for a free kick about 30 yards out, and looked to go for power to level things up, but his effort was wide of the target and the visitors remained in front.

The Armada tried to turn the screw a little bit as we ended the first half, but a resilient Battery defense yielded little opening before the break and the Black and Yellow went ahead.

The Battery went in with their tails up and looking solid, but would be hesitant to get carried away following giving up two second half goals from the same winning position on Sunday against NYRB II, and would look to continue their defensive stronghold in the second half.

And coming out of the break, they could’ve doubled their advantage, when on 52′, Naveal Hackshaw would play Williams in. His shot toward the far post would force a good save out of the Jacksonville ‘keeper, and seconds later, the home side would be on the break.

Forrest Lasso would be the man to clear the danger for the Battery as the Armada would curl a cross toward the back post, and despite penalty appeals from the Jacksonville striker, the referee was unphased, and play would continue.

Lasso would then be booked on 56′, after he committed a foul on the right wing, giving the home side an opportunity to whip a ball into the box on a free kick, but the ball was cleared and eventually went out for a throw in.

Tah Brian Anunga would then give away a foul from a similar position on the opposite side a couple minutes later, but this one didn’t even find its way into the box, and this time it was the Battery’s chance to start a counter.

Dante Marini would use his pace to power into an advanced position before playing for Romario Williams to his right, who found a man at the top of the box only for the first touch to let him down and allow Jacksonville to clear.

But just after the hour mark, Marini would use his pace to create a chance after receiving a pass inside. His effort wasn’t unlike Williams’ earlier chance, as he would try to curl an effort toward the far post. He would just steady himself before getting the shot away, however, which would give the ‘keeper time to do the same, and he would save before the ball was cleared.

With just a little more than 15 left, Jacksonville would earn a corner that looked dangerous before Cooper would, not for the first time tonight, catch the ball and relieve the pressure.

Shortly after, Dante Marini would use his pace to run down an errant ball and set up Obi Woodbine for a trademark long throw in, though nothing came of the chance.

Romario Williams had perhaps the best chance to settle things when he turned on the jets to get around his man on the right, but his shot that looked all but destined for the bottom corner, went just wide.

Williams would have another chance just a minute later, this time receiving a pass from Hackshaw before beating his man and getting to the byline, and putting another shot wide, this one, however, was from a bit harder of an angle, more acute, and from what normally would be a crossing position, though he didn’t have many more options and decided to have an effort himself.

The lack of insurance looked to put the Battery in danger of conceding an equalizer with just five minutes left, when a Jacksonville corner would be cleared, but eventually trickle its way through the heart of the area and would leave Cooper flat-footed as he originally thought the chance would roll harmlessly wide before taking a deflection and going behind for another corner.

This one would skim the head of an attacker up from the back and then take another flick toward goal before Cooper would pluck it out of the air and relieve pressure.

Nico Rittmeyer, who must’ve been waiting for a good eight minutes, would come on with a minute of normal time to go, replacing Maikel Chang.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added, and the final chance would fall to the home side.

Naveal Hackshaw, who to this point had had perhaps his best performance this season, lost track of his man, and was forced into a foul, allowing every man to find his way into the box, including the ‘keeper, for Jacksonville. The free kick was cleared by a stout Battery defense, but a shot back in went high over Odisnel Cooper’s crossbar, the danger averted for the Black and Yellow.

And that was how it finished. The Battery had exacted revenge against the team who ousted them from the competition at this stage last year, and will go on to face MLS affiliate Atlanta United in the fourth round on June 14th at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University.

Their next match will be on June 3rd, as they return home to face Louisville in what will be the main event of a triple-header of Football action as MUSC Health Stadium will host a Champions League Final watch Party at 2:45 on the Jumbotron and in the Three Lions Pub, before the Charleston Fleet play the first game of their inaugural season at 4PM. The Battery will then take on Louisville City at 7PM. As part of their “’93 Night” tickets will be $9.30, and a ticket will get you into all three events. The match will also be streamed on the club’s website and YouTube.

 

 

 

An Interview with Charleston Fleet GM Sarah Michner

2017 has already been an important year for Soccer in Charleston, not least because of the Charleston Battery‘s 25th anniversary. But now, a new chapter in Charleston soccer history is about to be written.

The Charleston Fleet, Charleston’s new Women’s team, will begin their first season in the WPSL, (US Women’s second tier) on June 3rd. We touched base with Fleet GM Sarah Michner ahead of their inaugural campaign:

BYP: This is your first season as a club, but how long has the Fleet been in the works? How did it come about?

SM: The idea for starting a Women’s Semi-Pro team is something we have talked about for years as we have moved around the country.  But, the idea for the Fleet is something we seriously started looking at about a year and a half ago.  My husband Christian (CofC Women’s Soccer Coach) and I have long backgrounds in soccer, playing & coaching at different levels in the US and both were able to develop and grow through various pro & semi-pro opportunities.  We are both very passionate about the game and the development of youth players.  

How important do you think bringing the Women’s game to Charleston will be to the ever-growing Soccer culture in the City?

Charleston obviously has a long rich soccer history via the Battery, and having a Women’s team that parallels that only makes sense as the Women’s game grows and as Charleston grows!  It’s the number one city, year after year and this only adds to what makes it special.

You’ve announced your affiliation with the Battery. You’ve talked a bit about it already, but how important is it to have them on board given their 25 year history and footprint in the City?

Having the Battery’s support has been huge and it definitely helps validate what we are doing.  The whole Battery organization has been very supportive.  The Battery’s legacy is one we hope to mirror in longevity.  But, we are also anxious to create our own path for the Women’s game here in Charleston.

In your first year, what are your aims on and off the field?

We are excited to get under way on June 3rd. We feel we will have a very competitive roster and hope to come together as a group to display a quality soccer experience for the fans and a place for the players to learn and grow.

 

There seems to be a lot of hype around the club at the minute and word is that you seem to be on the road to bigger and better things. Is there anything in the works to go into the NWSL?

Well, its nice to hear people are as excited as we are!  Currently, we just want to make this first season the best we can, for the players and the fans.  We are focused on having the Fleet be a part of the Charleston soccer community for years to come.  Personally, I think Charleston would be a great location for an NWSL team in the future.

It seems that the Fleet have big things, and big plans ahead of them. Perhaps the most interesting answer from the interview is how they’re putting an emphasis on promoting youth, as giving College players the option to continue their careers after they graduate could be very important to the game in the long run.

The Fleet begin their season on June 3rd at MUSC Health Stadium against the Carolina Rapids. The game will be part of a doubleheader with the Battery, as their game against Louisville City FC will kick off at 7. You can view the rest of the Fleet’s schedule here. The Fleet are also holding tryouts on May 13th, and you can find more information on that by visiting their website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Battery announce affiliation with Charleston Fleet

The Charleston Battery have announced an official affiliation with WPSL team the Charleston Fleet for their inaugural season.

The WPSL is the second division of women’s soccer in America, and the Fleet’s first game of their inaugural season will be played at MUSC Health Stadium as part of a double header on the Battery’s “’93 Night” on June 3rd, where a $9.30 ticket will get you into a Champions League Final watch party, the Fleet’s first game against the Carolina Rapids, and the Battery’s clash with Louisville City FC.

The Fleet will then play all of their remaining games at Patriots’ Point, with the end to their regular season coming on July 14.

For more information, visit the Fleet’s website and follow them on Twitter.