Checking out my flags and banners, making sure the grill is ready for the tailgates, checking the http://www.usldiscussions.com/ and http://www.bigsoccer.com/ for rumors of players or developments with other teams or the league, I even got my jersey and scarf ready for the first match.
So I thought I do a quick recap and an update on a few things going one.
Its tough keeping a Championship team together. Most teams come sniffing at your players. They offer more money or the chance to move up to a higher division. Not a hard decision for a young player.
Tommy Heinemann signed with the Columbus Crew at the end of last year. He currently has a significant knock that has been keeping him sidelined for a bit. Hopefully he recovers quickly as I think he can fit the MLS style easily enough.
Lamar Neagle is currently on trial with Seattle Sounders. He has been tearing it up in camp and has recieved alot of praise from Sigi Schmit the Sounders head coach
"I think the year last year helped him a tremendous amount at Charleston. I think Mike Anhaeuser did a great job with him, helped his confidence. Sometimes dropping down, just like with a Brian Ching when he came back to the Sounders that year then pushing back up really helped him. I think it's really helped Lamar. He's definitely a guy we have to seriously consider for this team."
Mike Zaher's trial in Norway didn't ban out but he is now in Finland on trial with the team Lamar went to at the end of the season, IFK Mariehamm. He is set to play the full 90 min in his second preseason match on Feb 19 with IFK.
The Battery roster is now at 13. Bermudez was recently removed, from what I understand it was his own request. He moved to Alaska to start a life with a woman (from here in Charleston) that took a job up there. Best of luck to Bermudez.
Added were Nicki Patterson and Cole Peverley as well as the returning Defender Colin Falvey. Both Marples and Falvey were solid last year.
We've been told that Gruenwald picked up another serious knock and that would certainly explain the ammount of midfielders we currently have on the roster.
Expect Armstrong to take over Fuller's roll of player/assistant coach. Stephen's leadership on and off the field and his experience make him key to a successful season this year.
We've been told that the reason the Battery Trials were delayed a week is that it would make it easier to keep a few of the players around for the Carolina Challenge Cup. Last heard there are more than 12 players that have been given the invite in and they were waiting on responses from several others.
The Battery shared a few names at the Regiment meeting a couple days ago but we wont go public as it may hurt the negotiation process (or another team might come in a scoop a player!) We will say that some of the players mentioned would be welcome additions to the Battery.
Off the pitch
Here are a few more things going and look for more details as the dates get closer.
Meet and greet and with Battery players will be March 2 for season ticket holders.
Regiment memberships are now available see the No Quarter article for more info. Get a Scarf or polo with you membership along with discount at the proshop and other perks! Plus you help support the Battery and a couple charitable causes along the way.
NASL was barely sanctioned by the US Soccer Federation. The eight NASL teams will be under a close eye by the federation and will have to apply for sanctioning again before the 2012 season.
US Open Cup dates have been set and NASL was left out of them. USSF said it was because the dates were set but there are theroies that it was because USSF wanted to send a message to NASL. Get your crap together this year.
The Southern Derby is set to take place this year between Charleston, Charlotte and Wilmington. The dates have been projected and we should have details soon after the Carolina Challenge Cup.
And on the subject of the Carolina Challenge Cup, DC United have signed US Men's National Team player Charlie Davis. Keep an eye on the Battery website as they ae sending out Carolina Challenge Cup updates