Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Battery v. Portsmouth FC

We'll No Quarter has been a little quite lately but that is because, I am currently in England.  Combining a family visit with a wedding plus some much needed R&R for the weary, things are going well.  When the fixture list came out, this looked like the perfect time to head accross the pond, missing only one match in a three week period.

Then the announcement came for the Portsmouth match.

It always is disappointing to miss a match, but a match against and English opponent is even more disappointing.  And when it is a club with the history of Portsmouth, it can be down right disappointing.
  Fortuanately, this is the age of the Internet and if things go well,  I'll be wearing my Battery Jersey, watching the match on http://www.usllive.com/, listening via a radio broadcast or at the very least following Twitter updates.

For those in the neighborhood, make sure you get to this match.

Here is a good link from my fellow Battery blogger in the lead up to the big match.

Who is this Blue Army? from the Beautiful Game

Up the Battery!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

So your coming to the Colonies ( Or Some tips for our friends visting from across the pond)

Portsmouth have some great fans to be sure.  For all they have gone through over the last couple years you can't help have a soft spot for someone who has stood beside their club.  And while they have one of soccer's most recognizable and (in?)famous fans in John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood, there are scores of others that are  equally as passionate about the club.

On July 17, Portsmouth FC will take on our local boys, the Charleston Battery.  Portsmouth will also spend the majority of their time training here in the States based in Charleston.  So for those supporters making the trip over, here are some tips and suggestions while you are staying in the Charleston area.

1.  Its hot and humid.
You likely will get of the plane and think you've walked into a steam bath.  Most visitors are going to want to take advantage of all the sites and scenery Charleston has to offer but pace yourself.  Drink plenty of water and try to do things early in the morning or late afternoon.  Take lots of breaks.  Charleston is a laid back type of place so popping into a bar or pub while downtown in the middle of the afternoon is totally acceptable.

Make sure you wear sunscreen or a hat, getting sunburned the first day can make things pretty miserable for a couple days. 

2. Things to see
There is a lot to do and see.  Of course, everyone has their own likes and dislikes, so here is a link to the local visitor center be sure to check out the video gallery (25 different videos) and links to most things in the area.

For me here is the top places to visit and things to do while in town in no particular order:
Carriage ride -good way to start the visit as it gives you a some history of the city plus you can get a good layout of downtown and go back to visit some of the places along the tour if you wish
Market Street- four blocks of local vendors selling everything from paintings to jewelry to Charleston's famous sweet grass baskets. 
The Aquarium - not the biggest or best in the States but it is nice and a good way to get out of the heat for the afternoon
The Beach- lounging around on holiday is always a top priority.  Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island are all within about 15 min of downtown.   If you want to try your hand at some local fishing, you can get a single day license and rent all the kit at the pier on Folly Beach.
Take a walk- You really will appreciate Charleston by walking.  You can wander the streets looking at the houses and gardens and our famous wrought iron fences, gates and ornaments or you can check out one of the many walking tours including Ghost walks, Pirate walks, Garden walks and a few others.
Get on the water-whether you take a harbor tour or rent a kayak on Shem creek.  One of my favorites is the sunset sails on the Schooner Pride 
Fort Sumter- for history buffs, its where the American Civil War began.
USS Yorktown- an American aircraft carrier with a lot of static displays of aircraft,
Check out a plantation  Boone Hall, Drayton hall, Magnolia or Middleton Place are all nice.  Boone Hall feature the quintessential oak lined avenue leading to the front of the house.

Some other cool things;  Charleston Museum, Firefly Distillery (sweet tea vodka), Charleston Tea Plantation, Morris Island lighthouse, Waterfront Park, Ft. Moultrie (fort that was attacked in the movie "Glory" by the all black unit the 54th Massachusetts during the Civil War), and Charles Towne landing.  

3.  Eat
Charleston is a great place for food.  Everything from upscale to down home.  Seafood, fresh vegetables, pork.  There are some dishes which you have to try; Shrimp and Grits, pulled pork with a mustard based BBQ, boiled peanuts, steam local oysters, Fried Green tomatoes and any local seafood.  Generally, servings are big and prices are reasonable.  Feel free to ask for recommendation based on what you want and how much you want to spend in the comments area and I'm sure we can help you out.

4.  Bars and nightlife
There are several places downtown that are pretty good,  The Gryffin and Liberty Tavern for more traditional pub feel.  Big john's Tavern for those that want to experience a true American dive bar.  For those wanting to let there hair down, Market Street Saloon (think of the movie Coyote Ugly were the girls occasionally dance on the bar)  Outside of downtown,  our local bar that shows footie if its on television is the Madra Rua (owned by a Liverpool supporter but we all get along (normally) when we watch matches) ,  very quaint and a place the locals go. Not really in the nicest part of town but definitely worth stopping by for a match and a couple pints.  Again, let us know what type place your looking for and we'll direct you in the right direction.

5.  Shopping  I'm sure someone will want to go shopping,  There are four retail shopping malls in the area,  Northwoods and Citadel malls are traditional shopping malls,  couple big department stores, with tons of smaller stores.  There is an Outlet mall where most major stores sell last years lines or overages usually for a pretty good discount.   there is also a big outdoor style mall in Mt. Pleasant area.  Another good place for shopping is King Street downtown (near the Market).  Many of the high-end shops have stores their but there are quite a few locally owned shops that are pretty reasonable as well.

Charleston is a great city, and different from most American cities.  There is a sense of community pride normally found in small towns.  People are mostly friendly and it is easy to strike up a conversation. 

Battery defeat Wilmington with late goal

The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads is a vital American Division match and a Southern Derby Cup match 2-1.

Both teams started off fairly pensive with Wilmington have the better of possession in the first half but neither team had a serious strike on target.

In the second half things started off similarly to the first, and it was Wilmington that scored first from a corner kick.  The Ball sailed in to the box and was flicked on to Manny Guzman who headed home the ball in the 77 min.

The Battery then began to press and thee minutes later, found the back of the net to even up the score.  Brandon Massie scored his first goal of the season when a ball shot by Stephen Armstrong was deflected by Hammerhead's keeper, Kyle Polak.  Unfortuately for Polak it was deflected to Massie who was did a good job following up the shot and slotted it past the keeper.

The Game livened up from their and both teams seemed like they did not want to settle for the draw, but it was the Battery who was rewarded with the goal.  Colin Falvey sent a beautifully weighted ball into the box where Dane Kelly beat the keeper to flick into the net in the 90 minute of play to make it 2-1.

And the excitement didn't end there.  in time added on, Hammerhead defender Garth Evans was sent off for what we can only imagine was two straight yellows for dissent.  After Levi Coleman looked to beat his man and was one on one with the keeper,  he appeared to have been brought down in the box.  But the referee waved play on and Evans seemed to take grievance with Coleman who was still laying on the pitch after the foul.  As play continued Evans, seemed to argue with Coleman and out came yellows for both players.  Evans not seemingly happy continued to press the subject and began shoving and the referee quickly showed him a second yellow.  Still unhappy, Evans continued to argue and had to be escorted off the field to the locker room by his teammates. 

The final whistle came shortly after and with the win the Battery moved to Second place in the American Division and are first place in the Southern Derby Cup Standings, a three way, round-robin tournament by the fans of Wilmington, Charleston and Charlotte. 

Watch highlights from and all three goals at the link below
Highlights of Battery's win over Wilmington

Next up for the Battery is an away match against the Dayton Dutch Lions on July 23 followed by the International exhibition against Portsmouth FC on July 27 at Blackbaud Stadium

Up the Battery!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Battery win big, take on Wilmington in Southern Derby match Thursday

The Battery defeated the top team in the league, Orlando City FC, 1-0 on Saturday night in a late, wet match.

A two hour weather delay saw the game kickoff at 9:30 at night but most the crowd had given up by that point and gone home.  For those that stuck around, they saw the Battery win with an excellent header from Alex Caskey, his first goal of the season.  The goal came in the 65 minute from a cross from Mike Zaher.

The Battery defense was solid all night as well, Colin Falvey and Johnny Wilson were rocks in the center of defense and Andrew Dykstra made a couple key saves in the match as well.

A win was a great way to cap off a great day out at the 'Baud.  It all started with a massive Regiment tailgate where they hosted the The Ruckus and Iron City Firm from Orlando.

It was great to meet fans from around the country and the folks from Orlando are gracious and welcome back anytime.  We had a fantastic time regardless the weather and even though Orlando loss, and most of them went back having enjoyed their trip.

The Regiment also raise more than $400 dollars and filled the back of a small SUV up with clothes for the Pascoe Family.

But it doesn't stop there, The Regiment will be hosting the Frisbee toss at the match on Thursday night so get a couple Frisbees and try to win a free meal at Five Guys burgers and fries.  All the money raised will go toward the Pascoe Family fund.

the match holds double importance for the Battery.  First Wilmington is breathing down Charleston throat in the American Division table with only one point between the two clubs.  Secondly, the game doubles as a Southern Derby Cup match. Read Jim Gregory's excellent article about the Derby HERE

Charleston, Wilmington and Charlotte are even in the standings with three points after two matches each.  Charlotte actually has the lead based on goal differential.

Wilmington will be looking for revenge after the Battery defeated them during the nationally broadcasted Fox Soccer Channel match June 11 by 2-0.

Here are the remaining matches in the Southern Derby Cup

Wilmington @ Charleston 7-14
Charlotte @ Wilmington 7-23
Charlotte @ Charleston 8-12

Charleston looks like they will be without the services of J.C. Mack (foot)

Up the Battery

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Charleston take on Orlando

Saturday, the Charleston Battery will take on Orlando City FC in the first regular season match up. 

The Battery faced Orlando in a tight match during the US Open Cup but a defensive error gave the visiting team the 1-0 win.

Orlando is currently the top of USL Pro, where as Charleston is sitting in third place in the American Division.   With the American Division standings very tight, a win is vital for the Battery to keep ahead of a emerging Charlotte and Wilmington teams. 

The Battery look to have a full squad available with the exception of JC Mack (foot).  Defender Graham Dugoni returned to training this week after a long absence due to a back injury.  Former Battery midfielder Ian Fuller, now an assistant/player coach with Orlando, began training this week after nursing a injury but it is uncertain if he will play.   

The Battery may be able to take advantage of a tired Orlando squad.  They play a match Friday night against the Dayton Dutch Lions in Orlando.  They will then make the 6 to 7 hour trek up the I-95 to Charleston and play the Battery less than 24 hours later. 

The Regiment will also be hosting a large tailgate.  More than 50 fans from Orlando will be make the trip up to the match and we are having an eclectic menu:  hot dogs, spare ribs and a couple types of curry!  please come by and join us. 

The Regiment will also be collecting money and clothes for the Andrew Pascoe family.  Andrew is a big Battery and Regiment supporter who's house was loss to a fire on Wednesday morning.  Everyone in the family made it out safely but they lost everything in the fire.  

Please come by and put something in the jar at the tailgate.  If you can't make the tailgate, The Regiment will be raffling off an autographed Battery jersey and proceeds from the raffle will also go the Pascoe family.  Raffle tickets are $1 or 6 for $5 and will be available under the West Stands before the match and during half-time.

The Battery are also offering family four packs for the match.  $30 gets you four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks.  Contact the Battery for more details.

And if that's not enough for you, the annual Clash of the Carolinas will be taking place prior to the the Battery match.  The Clash of the Carolinas pits the top high school boys and girls from South Carolina against the top from North Carolina.  The girls match starts at 1:30pm and the boys match at 4:00pm. For rosters and more information check out the Clash of the Carolinas website .

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Battery and LA finish deadlocked

The Charleston Battery ended up drawing 0-0 with the LA Blues on Friday night in front of a crowd of about 3,500 in Blackbaud Stadium.

Charleston had the best of the chances with Dane Kelly header in tehe final minutes of the game forcing Blues keeper to make a tremendous reaction save.  The defense seemed to do its job with Battery goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra only having to make one save. 

The first half both teams came out cautious and from the opening whistle it looked like it was going to be 0-0 result.  The best part of the first half was heckling former Battery defender Nelson Akwari (we told him he looked shorter in a blue kit, the stripes must have made him look taller.)  it was all in good fun and he gave us all a little wave and a smile. 

The Battery seemed to turn up the heat in the second half with several chances, especially in the last 15 minutes of the match. 

And with the majority of the results going Charlestons way over the weekend, The Battery now finds itself in second position albeit with a couple games in hand against most teams in the American Division.

Battery's next match is Saturday July 9 at Blackbaud against League leading Orlando City FC.  It is important that Battery not drop any points, especially to inter-division opponents.

The Regiment will be hosting a big tailgate on Saturday.  On the menu is an assortment of curry; lamb, chicken and fish, along with several sides.  There will also be hot dogs and sausages for the unadventurous types.   The Regiment will be hosting a few dozen Orlando City fans and everyone is invited to come on over to the Tailgate near the East Stand Entrance.  We will be out there early as it is also the Clash of the Carolina double header before the Battery match.  Bring some beer or a side to share and if you can, go buy a few raffle tickets and win a Battery jersey from the Regiment table before the match or during half time!