Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chasing the Endless Summer...Colin Falvey

Defender Colin Falvey will be the first to admit he has it pretty good.  Playing during the summer here in the US with the Charleston Battery and then playing during the "summer" months with New Zealand side YoungHeart Manawatu. Not a bad life for a 25 year-old Irishman.

The New Zealand season runs from November to March and while Falvey has an option to extend his contract with the Battery for the 2011 season, looks like he is leaving his options open.

Read the rest of the  interview from the New Zealand paper the Manawatu Standard.
Falvey Uncorks Third NZ Season

Click on the hyperlinks to keep up with the New Zealand National League and YoungHeart Matawatu

It would be safe to assume that Falvey wont be playing in the Carolina Challenge Cup in March, No Quarter would definitely like to see Falvey back in a Battery kit come the 2011 season and wish him luck in his current endeavors.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Creating flags and banners

With two months until the Carolina Challenge Cup, it is the perfect time to create you own banner or flag. As we mentioned in an earlier No Quarter entry, here are a few basic tips to get you started.

The Idea

The age old adage of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) is the best motto. A simple short phrase or logo is the best. I start with an idea and then use Photoshop or hand sketch and then scan the picture to get a basic design laid out. For example, I used the crossed cannons from the Battery logo in a few of my designs. Simple, relevant and easily recognizable. On one design I added a skull above the cannons as a take off the classic Jolly Roger design which has gone on to be used on T-shirts as well as a two-pole banner.


Pretty much any fabric will work. Cotton or cotton blends probably are the best for the paint but tend to get a bit heavy if they get wet. Plastic tarps don't work too well as the paint flakes off and they only come in limited colors. The best paints are cheap acrylic paints. They are waterproof and while will dry a bit "stiff" will still work just fine on banners. When I designed the bar flags, I used 100 foot rolls of plastic table cloth material that I bought at a party supply store for less than $15.00 a roll. I then cut yellow and black pieces about two foot long and taped them together with black duct tape in alternating colors to give a black, yellow, black pattern that is about six foot long and about 4 foot high (that was the width of the roll, no need making more work for myself!)tape that to a five or six foot length of PVC pipe. I have a flag that cost about $2.00 each and took about 5 minutes to create.

The Work

Now comes the tricky part. Putting those great ideas onto the banner. Ideally you would have a large area in a climate controlled area to work, but anywhere will really do. Access to a computer hooked up to a projector will make the transfer of the design a lot simpler. Just trace the design onto the fabric with a pen. An old school overhead projector would work fine as well but you will have to print out your design onto a transparency. If you really want to kick it old school, free hand your design onto the fabric.

Start painting your design using a variety of size brushes. Start on the edge with narrow brushes and use larger brushes or rollers on the bigger areas.  Make sure you put your new banner somewhere where it will have plenty of time to dry before it starts to rain or the where the neighbor's cat won't walk over it.

Finishing It Up

Now that its dry, you need to figure out how to display it come game time. Depending on it size, you might be able to use a two pole design. Make a sleeve on either side by either using liquid stitch or if you can, sewing a seam up the side and leaving it large enough for a pole. I use PVC pipes for poles because they are cheap and easy to find. A larger banner you might add some grommet holes so you can tie it up with zip ties or string. Even duct tape works well if it isn't too wet out. Blackbaud stadium is pretty open to bringing in flags or banners, as long as you don't hit the ticket takers in the head with the poles trying to get through the turnstiles (sorry who ever that was!) and be mindful of waving a flag in front of other fans. Or to be safe, come on over to E10 where flag waving is welcomed.

All this seem to much work? The Battery Proshop sells a a great two-side 3'x5' Charleston Battery flag that has a sleeve ready for a pole.

Here are a couple instructional videos from the good folks in Toronto. You may have seen many of their banners during the last couple Carolina Challenge Cups. In fact if you watch the second video you will see one of them wearing a Battery jersey and showcasing the scarf banner in section E01 at Blackbaud stadium.

Got an idea, but are stuck? Leave a comment and well do our best to help. We also have a tentative plan to have a banner making BBQ one afternoon come closer to March.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Common Goal - FutiBlog: The best two teams in US Soccer, a completely unbias take,and so what is the Coffee Pot Cup?

Another great article at A Common Goal

A Common Goal - FutiBlog: The best two teams in US Soccer, a completely unbi...:

" Christmas may be tomorrow, and sure we've been awaiting our gifts and surprises with great anticipation...But for me, my ..."

Add this blog to your daily reading list.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Common Goal - FutiBlog: Soccer this Winter in Charleston

Check out another blog on lowcountry soccer

A Common Goal - FutiBlog: Soccer this Winter in Charleston:

"The most important soccer event coming up this Winter in the Charleston area is the Copa Charleston IV. Founded four years ago by Alex Voelk..."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Women's team coming to Columbia

While not officially announced yet, the Central SC Cobras have put all the wheels in motion to compete in the USL W-league for the 2011 season. 

Based in Columbia, South Carolina, the Cobras have been working hard throughout 2010 to make the team a reality.

Several details, such as stadium location and player selection, are still being worked out but they have set up the front office personnel and have established a color scheme and crest, shown at the left.

The Cobras will most likely be put in the W-league's Atlantic Division, playing against the Atlanta Silverbacks, Charlotte Lady Eagles, Hampton Roads Piranhas, Northern Virginia Majestics and the Tampa Bay Hellenic. Typically, the W-league season runs 10 to 12 games.

You can follow them on facebook Central SC Cobras and check out their website for more info.

No Quater will continue to update you as well!  Good luck ladies!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Off Season Survivial Guide

Off season is a cruel time for sports fans.  It is especially cruel to supporters of  lower division soccer in the United States.  With the season ending in September, not starting until the end of April/early May time frame, and lack of media coverage leaves nearly eight month to fill.

So No Quarter has put together a little survival guide to help you get through next few months.   Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment section at the end of the blog.

Watch the English Premiere League

Or Spanish La Liga, Italy's Serie A, or German's Bundesliga.  One of the bright spot of being a soccer fan is that most leagues run a winter schedule and we can see some great soccer year around.  If your missing the camaraderie of being with other fans, head down to the Madra Rua on Montague Ave. in North Charleston.  Nearly every major match on television is shown, they even will unlock their doors as early as 7am for the big derbies.  Check out their schedule at Madra Rua Pub and your more than likely to see a few familiar face from the 'Baud if you stop by.

Watch some adult league soccer at Blackbaud

The Battery sponsors an over 35 and an over 40 leagues. Usually played on Thursday nights, the teams get the privilege of playing on the pitch at the stadium.  You might be surprised who you see suiting up out there with former players like Paul Conway and Dusty Huddock looking for run out.   And as an added bonus, the Three Lions is open with a full bar and menu.

Create a banner or flag

Chicago's Section 8 fans supporting the Fire

All it takes is an idea, a bed sheet or fabric and some paint.   No need to sew; duct tape,  Velcro, fabric glue and zip ties are all options.  PVC pipes make great poles for flags or banners. It is an easy way to show your support and when used en mass can have a great effect.  We'll post a couple instructional articles on the best way to make your own in the near future but until then here is a great blog one the ends and outs of how to creating some great banners Tifosi Banners

Dust off the boots and play a pick up game

Call your friends, find an open space and kick the ball around for an hour or so.  Looking for something a bit more regular?  Head over to Spoccer and check out the local weekly pick up matches in the Charleston area.

Join an online soccer discussion board

Spend a hour or so checking out the rumors, catching up on the latest news online at Bigsoccer or USLdicussions  Both have active Charleston Battery forums as well forums for rival teams.

Start a Blog

That what we did!  Its been fun and check out some of our archives that include articles with Battery players, Lamar Neagle, Tommy Heinemann, Johnny Wilson and Battery President, Andrew Bell.  Look for more articles on No Quarter from around the league and on the Battery as we lead up to the 2011 season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

USL Wraps up Annual General Meeting

The USL wrapped up the Annual General Meeting down in Tampa, Florida this past weekend.  The Battery twitted that a tentative schedule has been made and to expect an exciting season.  Several other tidbits of information came out of the meetings via the USL Press Release .

First it looks like there will be 16 teams in USL Pro.  Officially USL has only announced 13 of those teams; Antigua Barracuda FC, Charlotte Eagles, Charleston Battery, Dayton Dutch Lions, FC New York, Harrisburg City Islanders, Orlando City SC (formally Austin Aztex) , Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, River Plate Puerto Rico, Rochester Rhinos, Sevilla FC Puerto Rico , and Wilmington Hammerheads.  But rumors on the point to another team from Puerto Rico joining, Puerto Rico United.

the other two team aren't as clear but the signs point to two new expansion teams.  Ft. Lauderdale in Florida and Pali Blues in LA, California.  Ft. Lauderdale is rumored to actually be the Haitian national team.  The natural disasters the island country has suffered over the last couple years has left no infrastructure for the players or organized soccer.

The Pali Blues rumor comes from a blog posted a month or so ago by someone in the organization claiming they were to be the new coach of the expansion team.  If they are indeed one of the three remaining teams,  it opens up the issues of travel from one side of the country to the other.  Hopefully the team can afford the travel.

The regions and schedules will be released in December according to the press release.

The release tells us that there will be 24 regular season matches, four more than last season for Battery fans.  Playoffs format will also be released in December.

There was also representation from several possible expansion teams at the meetings.   Look for a 20-24 team league in 2012 with interest coming from the Mid-west and West coast.

Well pass along the details as we get them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wilmington Returns!

Official announcement from the USL!

Hammerheads return to Wilmington

Looks like the Southern Derby Cup just got alot more interesting!

Congradualtions to Wilmington and there fans.

The Teams are Set, Now Book Your Vacation!

The Charleston Battery announced the details of the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup today.  The eighth year of the tournament will begin Saturday, March 5, and continue Wednesday March 9 and culminating on March 12.  DC United, Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire will spend the week in Charleston finalizing their preparation for the 2011 MLS season.

The tournament is becoming a  preseason stable for many teams and the Battery have once again had request from multiple MLS teams to join the tournament.

Toronto FC will return for a fifth year and look to be bringing a sizable supporter contingent once again.

It will be Chicago Fire's first trip to Charleston.  The Battery defeated Chicago last year in the US Open Cup sending them out of the tournament.

DC United will return as defending champions of last year tournament winner.  Along with the competing for the Carolina Challenge Cup, DC and Charleston will fight for the the Coffee Pot Cup.

DC United supporters drinking beer out of the Coffee Pot Cup
The Coffee Pot Cup began after an incident following DC United shocking 1999 loss to Charleston in the US Open Cup, DC United players vented their frustration on the locker room of the then new Blackbaud Stadium, destroying, among other things, a coffee pot.  A few years later, supporters of both sides decided to have an actual Coffee Pot played for between the sides as a friendly wager. The winner has the other team's supporters fill the Cup with beer for the winning team's supporters to enjoy.  

The week long tournament is becoming a large draw for supporters looking to have a good time and cast off the cobwebs of a long off season.  Many travel to spend the entire week at the tournament, renting beach houses at a fraction of the individual cost for hotels. 

The week is punctuated with several events outside the matches.  The Battery supporters group, the Regiment, host tailgates for all the visiting fans, with plenty of food and libations.  The last two years, the Happy Hooligan's pub crawl have been a success.  Dozens of supporters from the teams involved enjoy a night out in downtown Charleston.  Look for more information closer to the tournament dates.
Please leave a comment if anyone needs help planning a trip to Charleston.  There are tons of options for just about anyone.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2011 USL Player Combine at Blackbaud Stadium once again

The USL has once again chosen the Charleston Battery and Blackbaud stadium to host the 5th annual USL Player Combine between January 20-23.

Over the last couple years, No Quarter has watched a few of the training sessions and matches.  While most players are looking to catch the eye of several coaches and team representatives that attend,  we just like to go to see some future stars and see who is there looking at the potential talent.

A couple years ago, Tommy Heinemann it was at the combine that he attracted the attention of the Battery.  Heinemann had a very successful 2010 season with the Battery, being named co-MVP of the 2010 USL2 Champions match and with the Carolina Railhawks, scoring six goals in just 12, including a vital last-minute goal that knocked the Montreal Impact out of the playoffs.

For more information on the USL Player Combine and how to apply, please read the Press Release.

No Quarter plans on bringing a report from the combine and hopefully some insight to the players, coaches and representatives attending.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wilmington Likely to Return!

Looks like Charleston will pick up another local rival and competitor for the Southern Derby Cup for the 2011 USL Pro season.

Reports from both WECT TV and Wilmington Star News are saying that the Wilmington Hammerheads will likely return in 2011. 

Official word is likely to come out later this month,  in No Quarter's opinion, most likely before or during the USL Pro league meetings which are schedule for around November 18. 

The club also looks like it will retain the Hammerheads name and will retain its logo and color scheme.

Wilmington historically has been a tough team, qualifying for the playoffs 9 out of 13 years of their existence, winning the 2003 USL D3 championship and averaging close to 3000 fans a match.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup

The Charleston Battery facebook page hinted that "an exciting announcement" about the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup should be out by the end of this week.   If it is the announcement of the teams involved it would make it the earliest the week long tournament has been announced, allowing more time for visiting supporters to schedule and plan for a great week of soccer.

 If the timing is consistent with past Carolina Challenge Cups with the the tourney finishing the weekend prior to MLS's season kickoff on March 19, the CCC should be the week of March 5 to March 12.

So who might the Battery face during the 8th year of this fantastic preseason tournament?  Historically, the winner of the tourney gets a return invite.  DC United won the 2010 CCC but we haven't heard anything about the team's preseason commitments for 2011. 

The only two teams that look like they have conflicting schedules are Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew, both which are competing in the CONCACAF Champion's League Quarterfinals on March 3 and 17.
So perhaps a better question would be is; who would the fans want to see?

There are two new expansion teams for MLS in 2011, both teams that Battery competed against in USL1, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers.  The Seattle Sounders also fit that bill and have former Battery standout, Osolvo Alsono on their roster.

The Red Bulls would bring with them a couple well known players in Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel.

Maybe a rematch of the 2004 and 2010 US Open Cup opponents, the Chicago Fire?

The LA Galaxy with US Men's National team star, Landon Donovan and David Beckham have to be outside bets as I understand they typically require large amounts of money for appearance fees.

Outside of the actual matches, expect some supporter socializing after a long off-season with The Regiment hosting some great tailgates and what will be the third annual Happy Hooligan's pub crawl.

Regardless, it should be a great time with the chance to see some great soccer at the 'Baud and look to No Quarter to bring you a run down once the teams are announced!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One on One With...Amaury Nunes

In our "One on One" segment, No Quarter is doing its best at keeping the Battery faithful update on what is happened to players from the 2010 Championship side during the offseason,  If you haven't already, check out the articles in this blog with Lamar Neagle, Tommy Heinemann and Johnny Wilson. 

Somehow though we missed that one of the Battery's own had made the move to Germany after the season had ended.  Amaury Nunes is that player.  He joined the German side KSV Hessen Kassel, currently first in the 4th Division .

 The 6'0", 27 year-old Brazilian forward joined Charleston at the begining of the 2010 season from old rivals, the Charlotte Eagles.  Nunes also spent four years with the Fresno Fuego and is the product of the youth academy of the famed Brazilian club Flamengo.

"The soccer here (in Germany) is amazing"  Nunes told No Quarter.  "We average 10,000 people and the fans go crazy singing all the game long." 

"The structure is very professional, we train very hard six to seven times a week, even on game days!"

Nunes' path from Charleston to Germany came after the 2010 championship match. 

"I have a friend who plays here in Kassel, so I contacted him."  said Nunes.  "He sent my info to the coach here, and they were interested."

"I have not got much playing time yet," explained Nunes, "because my visa issues were just finalized, I was only able to play last week."

"Due to the issues, I could only sign a short contract after the Battery season, until January 1st,"  Nunes continued.  "I would like to stay here longer, but the visa thing is not so simple for players from outside Europe."

As a member of the 2010 Championship, Nunes has mixed emotions about the season.

"The Battery season for me personally was not so good due to a few injuries that I had," explained Nunes.  "I was never able to be 100%.  But I am really glad we were champions and as a team we did very well."

"We had a great group of guys who were very dedicated to win the league. And the fans were also great, supporting us all the time."

Those injuries Nunes had only allowed him to play in 14 games with the Battery last season.  He still managed to score 3 goals, including a last minute winner in a very tough 4-3 win in Pittsburg in May. 

"Amaury really showed off his skill on both goals," Battery coach Mike "Auggie" Anhaeuser said in an post-match interview in the local Post and Courier Newspaper after that match.

"Amaury is always looking forward, always looking to push the ball up the field," contnued Anhaeuser. "His quality around the net is fantastic and he sees the field very well.  Because of the style he played growing up in Brazil, he's sometimes a step ahead of the other guys when we're on the attack."

So what are are Amaury's chances of putting on a Battery uniform next year?

"Depending on Kassel and I am not sure if the coach would want me back since I had so many injuries," said Nunes, "But I would love to play for the Battery again.  It is a great soccer atmosphere, a great city and great fans."

So we'll have to keep our eyes on Nunes and adding him to our regularly featured "Where are They Now." segment.

No Quarter wants to thank Amaury for his time and wish him "Viel Gluck" from all of us and the rest of the Battery faithful.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where are They Now?...Oct. 19

Tommy Heinemann is on his way to a second championship match this year thanks to his last minute goal to knock Montreal out of the USSF Division 2 playoffs.  That makes five for Heinemann in ten games since joining Carolina and puts him four in goal scored for the Railhawks.  Carolina will play Po=uerto Rico in a home and away series begining in Puerto Rico on Sunday Oct 24 and finishing in WakeMed Stadium on Saturday Oct. 30.

Lamar Neagle scored his second goal for IFK Mariehamn in Finland this past weekend as well.  IFK has one match remaining on Saturday Oct 23.  The match is vital as IFK are only one point out of the relegation zone. 

There was a good feature on Yeniel Bermudez in the Ancorage Daily News this past week.  Bermudez is out of contract with the Battery and followed his fiancee, Stephine Magestro, to Alaska, where she is a middle school guidence counselor.  Read the entire article here:

For Formere Cuban soccer star, a long winter ahead

Good luck guys!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Battery Looking for Players

The Charleston Battery announce three sets of player trials; open trials are Dec 10-11 and  Jan 28-29.  the invite only trial is Feb 18-19.

The trials are well run and several other clubs are often invited in to scout players as well. 

For more information and details on registration., check out the Battery website

Charleston Battery Website

No Quarter will do it's best to bring you details from the trials, so keep watching this space.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One on One with....Tom Heinemann

Affectionately nicknamed “the Beast” by Battery fans, Tommy Heinemann’s beard, shaggy locks and size, as well as his physical play, gives him the look of wild-man or a medieval barbarian.  In reality, the 6’4’ forward is more of a gentle giant, a religious man with a big smile.  Tommy was joint MVP in the 2010 USL2 Championship match and had a great season with the Charleston Battery.  The pairing of Heinemann’s physical and holding presence, along with league MVP Lamar Neagle’s pinpoint accuracy and nose for goal, gave the Battery one of the deadliest strike partnerships in recent years. 
As the USL2 season ended, the Carolina Railhawks were looking at Heinemann to bolster their offensive as they push for a USSF Division 2 championship. 
“I spoke with Auggie (Coach Mike Anhaeunser) at the end of the year and he told me that Carolina had expressed interest to the club about me. So, we just took it from there,” Heinemann told No Quarter. “I had heard great things about Martin Rennie, the coach for the Railhawks, as well as great things about the organization. We also played against them two times this year, once in the preseason and once in the open cup. After playing against them, I felt like I could fit into their system and be effective.”
So far he has been effective, scoring four goals in seven appearances for the Railhawks.
His game has been steadily improving since becoming a pro and joining the Battery two years ago.  But it started much earlier.
“I started playing soccer at age 4 for a local recreational team,” said Heinemann.  “I started playing select soccer at age 9.  I liked to run around a lot when I was a kid, and soccer fit the bill for that!”
He went on to play college soccer at Rockhust University where he was named to the NSCAA/NCAA Division II Men’s All-America Team as a sophomore and as a junior.  He also played PDL with the St. Louis Lions, where he scored 35 times in 36 games over three seasons with the Lions.  Heinenmann came to Charleston after a successful showing at the USL Men’s Player Showcase in 2008.
Heinemann like many professional athletes, counts his family as having a big part in his success.  ” My support that I have received from my family is so huge in my life,” said Heinemann.  “Knowing that they support me in all I do goes such a long way.  When I spoke to my immediate family during my last semester of college about trying to play professional soccer and foregoing my MBA (I was on a five year masters program), I was a bit nervous as to what they would say, but not to my surprise they jumped right on board and supported me in that.”
“They knew that was my dream,” he continued.  “To this day, I don't think they understand how much their support means to me.”
Nearly 50 Regiment and other Battery fans made the trip up to see the Battery play Charlotte in late July this past season.  At that match, Tommy had requested 18 tickets for his family and friends. 

“They are so freaking loud at the games!  I am sure you can attest to that,” joked Heinemann.  “They were hilarious at the Charlotte game. They are such a fun bunch.”
Heinemann also credits his past coaches and the big man upstairs.  “Jim Garvin, Tony Glavin, and Tony Tocco have coached me, trained me, and equipped me with the tools I need to play the game. I am very thankful for them.  Most importantly, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” continued Heinemann. “He has blessed me with the opportunity to play soccer professionally and is the only reason I am in the position I am today. All my credit and glory goes directly to Him as He has guided me throughout the course of my life.”
Heinemann scored eight goals and seven assist in 25 games for the Battery this season.  He was named co-MVP in the 2010 USL2 Championship match.
“The last two years in Charleston have been great! Charleston is such a beautiful city to live in and to play in,” said Heinemann.  “The Battery are a very stable organization that has helped me along in the early stages of my career. I have really learned how to be a professional off the field, as well as tons of things from a playing perspective.”
“This year was such a fun year, winning the Championship,” he continued. “Every player on our team did an outstanding job and it was a complete team effort all year long. The final was just evidence of that. I was really proud to be a part of such an exciting and hard working team.”
When asked who his dream side would be to play for would be “Liverpool,” laughed Heinemann.  “I know, I know, they are sucking right now, but they are my team through thick and thin!”
So what will 2011 bring for Heinemann?  “I am not sure at this point,” said Heinemann.  “I am just trying to take it one step at a time and focus on the task at hand here in Carolina (winning a title). Charleston is a great city and a great organization and I really enjoyed playing for the Battery, but for now, I just need to take it one step at a time.”
One thing is for sure, if Heinemann keeps scoring and starting for Carolina, he will have plenty of opportunities next season and “No Quarter” wishes him the best of luck but the selfish part of us would love to see him back at the ‘Baud in the Yellow and Black for next season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where Are They Now....Oct 3...

This weekend was the final week of the regular USSF D2 action.  And across the pond, IFK Mariehamn continues to fight against relegation in the Finish league.

Tommy Heinemann scored his fourth goal in six matches Friday night for the Carolina Railhawks.  A powerful shot that Austin Aztex keeper got a hand to but couldn't keep from trickling across the goal line.   Carolina won the NASL conference and will take on the NSC Minnesota Stars in a home and away playoff series starting on Wednesday in Minnesota.

Mayard still is looking to open up his goal tally in Montreal.  Montreal start their playoff run playing Ian Fuller and the Austin Aztex in Montreal on Wednesday as well. 

In Finland, Lamar Neagle scored a goal in IFK Mariehamn's 2-1 defeat against MyPa on Saturday.  IFK sit four spots above the relegation zone with two games remaining in the regular season.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Battery "Very Happy" with USL Restructure

The Charleston Battery ended any speculation about its 2011 season plans with its official announcement to join USL's restructured USL PRO league recently.

No Quarter caught up with Charlestonn Battery President, Andrew Bell to talk about what fans can expect in 2011.

No Quarter:  Was the Battery happy with the USL decision to merge its professional leagues?

Andrew Bell:  " Very Happy.  We've been an advocate of this for awhile; I think it's the only model that makes sense for soccer below MLS.  If you look at the history of USL we are essentially moving back to the model that was in place back in the late '90s and it was incredibly successful (I think there were 30 teams in the league in 1999!)  Once the decision was made to switch USL1 to a single table we started to see a very high level of franchise attrition and churn. USL PRO has the added advantage of essentially being run by the teams, all major decisions will be made by a board with each team represented.  Assuming we can continue to bring in like minded ownership groups the commonality of purpose will add tremendous value to the league."

NQ:  Will the decisions of that board include expansion teams.

AB:  "Yes, it's my understanding that the board's responsibility will include expansion."

NQ:  Have you heard anything about new clubs or teams moving up from PDL to join USL PRO?

AB:  " I know that it is a strong possibly but I can't comment on other teams that might participate.  I think the next couple of years we will see the league grow very quickly; the challenge is going to managing that growth."

NQ:  Tim Holt mentioned in a recent press release that there could be up to "four regional divisions" in 2011.   Has there been any hint as to which regions those division might be and who the Battery might be aligned with?

AB:  "It's my understanding that the regions will become clear once the participating teams have all been announced."

NQ:  Do you have any idea what that timeline might be?

AB:  "I would hope everything is clear before the AGM in November."

NQ  Any chance we might see the Wilmington Hammerheads return in 2011?

AB:  "I would love to see a team back in Wilmington sometime soon;  there is no doubt that it is a great market for a team at this level."

An article out of Wilmington went to press the same time we were putting together this interview.  The article explains the Hammerhead situation and hope of bringing back the team.

Ex-owner trying to get Hammerheads back

NQ;  I know the Battery season just finished, but things have got to be moving onto next season already.   Can we expect the Carolina Challenge Cup in March again?  How about another great exhibition with another EPL team?

AB:  "We are working on the Carolina Challenge Cup and will hopefully be able to announce the participating teams a little earlier this year.  We are definitely interested in bringing over an EPL side for another exhibitions next summer; hosting Bolton Wanders was great all around experience."

NQ:  Can we expect a similar length season in 2011 as we had in 2010?

AB:  "Yes, I would expect a similar length of season but again it's my understanding that this well be decided by the Board of Governors."

Thanks Andrew for taking the time to talking to us.

Additional news.

The NASL bid to USSF mentioned in the last article on No Quarter has been submitted.  Here is an interesting quote from an article on Inside Minnesota Soccer:

The Rochester Rhino's are conspicuously absent from the NASL bid even though team owner Rob Clark has a multi-year commitment to the NASL.  Clark was contacted several times today for comment but did not return the calls.  Clark has admitted to attending the USL PRO meeting in Orlando in September and told IMS he was considering his options.
Read the entire article at the following link.

NASL Submits Bid for Division-2 Sanctioning for 2011

Monday, September 27, 2010

Battery Joins USL Pro

The Charleston Battery officially announced they are joining USL-Pro for the 2011 season.

Official Charleston Battery Announcement

Much speculation over which team will join the Battery in 2011 continues, mostly due to the fact that the U.S. Soccer Federation placed new stricter standards for leagues and teams applying for Division 2 status and weather or not many USL PDL teams will look to join the new regionalized league.  

Currently the NASL is the only league looking to apply for Division 2 status for 2011, but with the departure of Portland and Vancouver for MLS, the future of Minnesota, St. Louis and Baltimore in question and a few other teams not meeting some of the USSF new D2 standards, there is a possibility that USSF will not sanction NASL for Division 2.  USSF recently gave NASL an extension to the end of September to try and bolster its numbers and strengthen the finances of the teams that are currently involved in NASL's bid.

So who will the Battery be playing next season? 

No Quarter thinks we will see the return of the six USL2 teams from 2010; Richmond, Real Maryland Monarchs, Harrisburg City, Pittsburgh, Charleston and Charlotte.  The Dayton Dutch Lions announced they will join USL pro in 2011 during the summer.  Both  USL1 expansion team Orlando and FC New York look like likely candidates as well. 

The much pondered USL Caribbean region looks like it will feature Antigua, and two teams from Puerto Rico and possibly two more additional Puerto Rico teams.  Former USL1 team, The Puerto Rico Islanders announced that they would be joining NASL for 2011 shortly after the USL restructuring announcement was made.

There has been some speculation to Rochester returning to USL but recently have said they will not make a decision until after their current season is completed.

If NASL fails to secure sanctioning from USSF, that could leave several teams looking for a league and USL Pro being the a viable option.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

There's Only One Johnny Wilson!

Off the field, he is mild mannered and has a smile that is contagious.  He always had time for anyone that came to wish him well or ask for an autograph. 

On the field he was a tough defender.  Tenacious, one that could get up the field, cause problems and fast enough to get back if needed.  Steadfast, calm and able to lead from the back.

photo by Kim Gregory
For many fans, number 25, John Wilson WAS the Charleston Battery.  He played 186 games for the Battery, a number only Paul Conway and Dusty Hudock beat and logged more than 16,200 minutes on the pitch.  His athleticism, never say die attitude and dedication to the club, quickly made him a fan favorite.

After a career that saw him in a Charleston Battery uniform for seven seasons, Wilson announced his retirement after the 2010 Championship match.

"It's been a great run, not only this season, but for my career," Wilson said in an interview with the Post and Courier. "To end my career like this is a dream come true. For my last game to be played here at Blackbaud Stadium, where my career began, in front of my hometown fans and to win a championship in my last game is awesome. Every player wants to go out like this."

Wilson’s road as a professional soccer player almost didn’t happen.  It was a communication error, and a good friend, that laid the course.

“I was 9 years old and had met Andy Mace at school. He had just moved to Seneca, South Carolina from Louisiana,” Wilson told No Quarter. “We became good friends and I would go to his house after school and play.”

“Andy had already been playing soccer before he arrived in South Carolina.  One day I went to Andy's house after school on the bus.  His mom or my mom forgot to tell me that he had soccer practice and that I was actually supposed to take the bus to my house. So Andy's mom asked if I would like to come along and I yes.”

“I went to his practice and was standing on the sideline until an Englishman named Tony Stevens asked me if I would like to join in the practice” Fortunately for Battery fans, he said yes.  “I will never forget it; I was wearing a white t-shirt, black jogging pants, and a pair of leather black and white Larry Bird Converse shoes. I just ran around chasing the ball. After the practice coach Stevens asked if I would like to join the team and I said sure.”
Little did he know at that time that one day he would be playing soccer at the highest levels in this country and competing with and against players that had played in some of the top soccer leagues in the world.  But even in high school, Wilson’s path almost took another direction.
“I had always been a fan of American football and wanted to be like Walter Payton some day. A lot of my friends played and I always wanted to play not only because I loved the sport, but because it gave me a chance to hang with my friends. I wanted to be a running back until my brother hurt his knee playing football as a running back.”  Wilson’s coaches thought he had a future playing in college and he became a kicker on his team.  “Just being around the guys and the atmosphere made me happy. I think I got some of physical play and defending from American football.”

As turned out, Wilson wasn’t too bad at kicking footballs. “My first letter was from Notre Dame,” said Wilson. “Soccer was what I wanted to do though. I continued to kick through high school while also concentrating on soccer.”
John went on to play college soccer at Clemson University as a forward and helped the team reach the NCAA Final Eight in 1998.  He was drafted MLS side, Kansas City Wizards in 1999 but decided to play his rookie season with the Charleston Battery that year. 
photo by Mikey Buytas
Andrew Bell, Charleston Battery President, remembers Wilson’s early years with the Battery.
“I think I’ve been there for every single game that John has played in a Charleston Battery uniform including his first game back in 1999,” said Bell.  “When he was in college he was a forward but our coach at the time Alan Dicks saw his potential as a defender and converted him to play at left-back.  I think he went straight into the first team and never looked back!”

Long time Battery fan Jim Gregory remembers Johnny as well. 

"When the 1999 Charleston Battery season opened in the brand new shiny Blackbaud stadium, most of us had never heard of Johnny Wilson, even though he was born in South Carolina and had a successful career at Clemson,"  said Gregory.  "He was incredibly fast for a defender and we always enjoyed his blazing runs down the wing."   

"Unlike most pro soccer players, what many of us will remember years from now will be the man, not the athlete,"  Gregory continued. "Not because his athletic talent can’t stand the test of time.  But  because he was a true sportsman on the field.  And there has never been a player with a bigger, more infectious smile.  He was the consummate gentleman to all fans young and old.  He always had time to talk to people before or after a match, even if the result didn’t go his way.  He never made excuses for himself or the team.   History has shown that it’s unusual for a Battery player to leave the team and move on but return later.  Johnny didn’t do it once, he did it twice.  And each time, the Battery would win a championship thus disproving the old adage that 'Nice guys finish last'.  Whatever the future holds for Johnny, I have no doubt he will be successful and earn many new friends along the way."
After the Battery’s season in 1999, he went back to Kansas City on loan in 2000 and on to win the MLS Cup.  Wilson returned to the Battery in 2001 through 2003 seasons, winning the A-League Championship.  Following a season with Rochester Rhinos, Wilson then played two years with D.C. United before returning to Charleston for his final three seasons as a professional.  Those last three years with the Battery he was a leader both on and off the field and key to the Battery’s success.
“His experience helped set the tone and motivated the younger guys,” said Battery captain Stephen Armstrong.  “He leads by example, preparing for the upcoming match all week long in training and that carries into the locker room.  He is the strong but silent type.”

“He’s been a tremendous asset to the club on and off the field,” added Bell.  “Not least of which because of his background and that fact that he is a true local product.  I’ve said on many occasions that he is one of the best soccer players that South Carolina has produced, possibly the best, and we’ve been fortunate to have him here for a very successful and long pro career.”
After a successful career, would Wilson have changed anything?
“There are many times you look back and you wish you would have done something differently, but for the most part I am happy with what I have accomplished and everyone who has been a part of it,” said Wilson.  “My dad always reminds me to look at where I came from and where I started; but to really look at where I am now and still going.” 
And who were Johnny’s biggest influences?
“I would have to say my biggest influence was my parents. They saw what the sport could do to change my life. I didn't know it at the time but they were laying down a foundation that would stick with me for life.  They played a major role in allowing me to pursue a sport that they knew nothing about while also trusting in some great people to guide me along the way.”
“I also had many great coaches from Tony Stevens, Bruce Talbot, Pierce Tormey, Bob Gansler, Peter Nowak and Trevo Adair to name a few.  On that first day, I think Coach Stevens saw something in me. I was very blessed to have a first coach that taught me so many things that have stuck with me today. I was blessed to have a family like the Mace's to not only introduce me to the game, but to also help me succeed in the game.”
“My parents did not get to see me play as much as they would have liked. They also didn't know much about the game. It was a blessing in disguise, “he explained “because I had no pressure and I was able to tune into the coach and the game better. It allowed me to grow as player and person.”

“When they did get to see me play it was the best feeling. When they attend games they just cheered for me and at the end of the game they would say did you have fun, good game, or always something positive.”
Now that he has retired from the professional game he is still involved with sports.  “Right now I am working with NCSA Sports. My goal is to reach out to all student athletes from all walks of life and motivate, educate, and empower them through sports, while also giving them examples from my career.”

“Through sports I have learned so much. Through sports I was also able to become the first person from my family to go to college.  Soccer changed my life.”
So as the Battery faithful come through the gate of Blackbaud stadium for the 2011 season, they do so knowing that Johnny won't be on the pitch.
Or will he?
"I saw John at the Charleston Riverdog's game a couple of weeks ago and he said never say who knows, maybe he'll pull a Brett Favre and come back for one more year!"  joked Bell.  "If not, I know he will be very successful in whatever career path he chooses, and the Charleston Batter certainly wishes him the very best of luck!"
Johnny added some final words.  " I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in my career.  Every person out there was a part of making a boy of Seneca, South Carolina dreams come true."
For the Battery faithful, there is, and always will, One Johnny Wilson.
You can follow John Wilson or contact him for more information about NCSA at:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where are They Now?

It’s been two weeks since the Charleston Battery won the 2010 Championship match but Battery players are still plying their trade.

Tommy Heinemann played a full 90 minutes with the Carolina Railhawks against the MLS bound Portland Timbers. The match ended 0-0 but Heinemann was very active with six shots and doing the dirty work up top that he is known for, was also credited with five fouls.

Lamar Neagle’s new club, IFK Mariehamn played one of the Finnish league’s hot team, TPS. Lamar didn’t feature in IFK’s surprising 2-1 victory over TPS but it not surprising as only arrived last weekend.

Ian Fuller came on as a second half substitute for the Austin Aztex in Puerto Rico Saturday night. Austin lost the match 3-1, after scoring in the first half but gave up three goals in the second.

Rudolph Mayard got a few minutes playing time Wednesday for Montreal in their 2-1 victory over Puerto Rico.

Kyle Reynish, who got played 3 games with the Battery while on loan from MLS outfit, Real Salt Lake, kept a clean sheet as he logged 90 minutes in the 0-0 match against the Seattle Sounders.

O’Brian Woodbine looks like he is heading back to Jamaica to play for his country’s Premier League in recently promoted team Reno of Westmoreland.

Levi Coleman has headed home to Kansas City and has expressed interest in playing indoor in the off season

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One on one with...Lamar Neagle

It’s always hard to hold onto the League MVP, especially in the lower divisions of North American soccer. Lamar Neagle is no exception. Neagle was signed by IFK Mariehamn in Finland last week.  The 2010 USL2 MVP signed a two month contract with an option for two years and joins fellow USL2 player Mason Trafford, who played with the 2010 Real Maryland Monarchs.

photo courtesy Kim Gregory
Things happened fast for Lamar. One day he is getting ready to head  home to the Pacific Northwest, the next he is on a plane to Finland.

“I was actually all ready to head back to Seattle and train there” said Lamar “but I got a call from an agent with a great opportunity to head overseas. I couldn’t really pass it up as I have wanted to go overseas for awhile.”

When asked about his time in Charleston, he has fond memories. ”I had a great time exploring Charleston with my family when they came out. Going to the beaches and downtown was a fun experience for me.”

“My favorite memory from the past year is probably in the championship game. Winning that topped off a great season for the club and me. Ian Fuller's save off the line from Delicate's shot was a pretty amazing moment.”

Finland is a long way from United States though. “Finland is a nice change.” said Lamar, “Where I am staying is a small island in between Sweden and Finland and has a small population. The town has very nice scenery and everything is walking distance. Everyone I have run into so far speaks English, maybe not the best but enough to get by!”

Fresh off the USL2 season, Lamar’s fitness shouldn’t be an issue adjusting to a new team. “The playing style here is similar, although a bit more possession than USL-2 I would say. The training sessions are similar too.”

So what does the future hold for the young forward? “Who knows what the future holds for any of us?” Lamar laughs, “But I feel like this is an extremely difficult question, especially for a footballer. One game can change your career.”

IFK currently sits 13th out of 14 teams, with six matches left to play. If Lamar can help take IFK out of the cellar, the future is bright for the young forward.

“If I play well here, then the options are open. Many teams come to watch these games, so one good game could change everything. But eventually I would like to be back in the MLS to play in front of family but I like the idea of playing overseas.”

No Quarter will be bringing you regular updates on Lamar and his time in Europe.

USL2 now part of USL Pro

It wouldn't be an off season in the lower divisions of soccer without some sort of change. It looks like this one will be no different.

United Soccer Leagues announced today a restructuring plan than combines USL1 and USL2 into one league, USL PRO.  

USL Restructures Professional Division - USL

USL headquarters have confirmed that USL PRO will not be applying for official Division 2 status and that the intent of the new league is to run it regionally, much like USL2 was run this season.   

The article mention that teams involved in USL PRO in 2011 will be announced in the upcoming weeks.  But from the photo on the ULS press release, it looks like Austin, as well as last seasons USL2 teams will be part of the restructure.

It also mention that there could be up to four geographical division.  Tim Holt has mentioned the possibility of a Western Division of USL2 a couple months ago so that is one possibility.  I would imagine the primary East coast USL2 will be divided into a North East and South East (or Southern) division.  The fourth possibility is a little more elusive, possibly the Caribbean division with Puerto Rico and Antigua or even a Heartland division with teams like Des Moinse, and St. Louis Lions.

We have sent out some emails in hopes of getting some more information and will update "No Quarter" if we hear anything.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Moving On Up...

It's that time of year again.  The time where players from the lower division teams start thinking about how they're are going to spend their off season and for some, how they are going to pay the car payment!

For a few Battery players that question is already answered, at least for a couple more months. 

The past week has seen several Battery players move to other teams.  The terms of these signings are notoriously hard to find out about but here is what we know so far.

Battery forward, Lamar Neagle has signed with IFK Mariehamm of the Finnish 3rd division for the remainder of there season.  IFK is currently second from the bottom of their table with six matches remaining.  I imagine they need someone to score goals and Lamar has proven he can do that. 

Battery midfielder and assistant coach Ian Fuller signed with the Austin Aztex of the USSF D2.  Austin at the top of the table with Rochester and looking to win a championship.  They have also brought in former Battery players, Randi Patterson and Yoshi from Crystal Palace Baltimore, which looks to have been off loaded by a sinking ship.

Tommy Heinemann has already made an impact with his new team, the Carolina Railhawks.  Heinemann played 61 min against Crystal Palace Baltimore last night in Cary, NC drawing a Penalty and scoring a goal in the 89th min. 

Also completing their loans with Charleston, Tim Melia returned to Real Salt Lake after the Champions match.  Pierre-Rudolph Mayard returned to the  Montreal Impact after the regular season was completed.   Mayard has been getting a few minutes in the last couple Montreal matches.   Hopefully someone sent Mayard, who was a big part in the Battery's success this season, his championship medal.  He definitely deserved to be part of the group that won the Championship.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Its been a good year for the Battery.

Charleston won the 2010 USL2 Championship over the Richmond Kickers 2-1. The result of hard work and great leadership, exemplified by the fact that the game was won playing with 10 men for from the 30 min.

Lamar Neagle and Ian Fuller supplied the Battery goals but instead of me giving you a play by play, you can find the official write up at

The matches started out with the Battery faithful, The Regiment, hosting another great tailgate. These tailgates get better and better with every match. The food great, the beer cold and it is a good chance for everyone to socialize a bit before the match. A couple Richmond fans came down for the final and we put aside our differences for a couple hours while we shared a cold one (or two)

Inside the 'Baud, there definitely was a charge in the air and you could tell the crowd was going to be great. There were a few new faces in E10 and we actually got a chant or two going. The flags and banners looked great and hopefully we can continue to grow the supporter section next season. Richmond turned up the heat in the last 20 minutes after they scored a great goal. Every clearance in the last 10 minutes of the match was met by cheers from the Battery fans and the stadium erupted as the final whistle blew.

After the match, the team came over with the trophy but most of the fans were already on the pitch. Many post match beer were drank, photos with the cup, beer from the cup and a well deserved night for the players, coaches, owners, staff and fans of the Battery.