Part 2 of our 13 part Eastern Conference preview series! Part I on Bethlehem Steel is here. This is the first written contribution by Michael C. Wells. You’ll know him better by his photographic work around Louisville, but he’s a big City fan. Welcome MCW and check out his work on the Charleston Battery:
Who could possibly forget the last time Louisville City FC and the Charleston Battery met? On October 3rd, 2015, it took 106 minutes for Louisville City FC to crack the Charleston Battery defense in overtime. The USL 2015 MVP, Matt Fondy clinched the game 11 minutes later to advance Louisville City FC to the USL Eastern Conference Championship Game with a 2-0 victory.
Charleston ended the USL 2015 season with a combined league record of 13-7-10, including both its playoff games. The team went undefeated at home in MUSC Health Stadium, extending its home unbeaten streak to 25 matches while setting an all-time attendance record for the organization with an average attendance of 4,080.
Founded in 1993, the Charleston Battery have had their high and low points. In their 23 year history they have been able to call themselves “Champions” four times, in some form or fashion. One thing is certain, they always seem to be near the top. Hardly ever coming out on top, but never a team that is a guaranteed victory either.
The Charleston Battery has not had a lot of action during this year’s pre-season. Many of their pre-season scrimmages have been canceled or rescheduled due to weather. However, last week the Battery did get their first look against another USL team. Charleston scrimmaged against none other than St. Louis FC, ending in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. All Battery players saw the field. The only two Battery players that played the entire 90 minutes were, defenders Mueller and Lasso. However, three players were held out due to health concerns that were not shared by the organization (Ferguson, Cordoves, and Griffith).
The Battery have had issues currently with keeping their roster full. The average number of players attending daily training sessions is 22 players. That’s the average number that the Battery would go into the USL season with after making cuts and facing any injuries and setbacks. However, when we spoke with Battery Coach, Mike Anhaeuser, he told us not to look too much into it.
“There are four or five spots that are going to need to be filled, and it’s just taking a little longer this season. But, the guys I have in there are pretty good, and they’re starting to get a nice rhythm. We had 28 players last week, but we made the decision not to keep them; they’re still on the table, they’re players who could be back, but we’re just simply trying to work things out right now. We are simply taking things a little slower this season.”
The biggest change this season will be at Forward, where the Battery is looking to replace 2013-15 leading team scorer Dane Kelly. When asked about the “hole in the offense,” Battery Coach, Mike Anhaeuser said, “We’re pretty good right now. A few guys have stepped up and done well. We’re right where we need to be, and we have less than a month to go until our home opener. We’re going to ramp it up these next few weeks.”
2016 BUSINESS CHANGES:
January 15th, 2016 – The Charleston Battery partners with the Atlanta United FC for the 2016 MLS season prior to Atlanta’s entry to MLS in 2017.
February 1st – 2016 – The Charleston Battery announce that longtime owner Tony Bakker has sold the club to B Sports Entertainment, an investment group led by local tech executives.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the uniform. A yellow, black and white logo goes very well on the team’s yellow and black uniform. But, can somebody please explain to me how their colors suddenly change to red, black and white when on the road?
-Michael C. Wells