The Charleston Battery's 20 season begins Saturday with an away match with long time rivals, the Richmond Kickers. I will be lucky enough to make my first trip up to Richmond and am excited to see the boys back in action after a long off season.
As usual in the USL, the off-season saw many changes to the Battery roster. Fortunately it looks like some fan favorites will be returning
Rejoining the Battery from the 2011 season is Nicki Paterson, Colin Falvey, Zach Prince, Sean Flatley, Mark Wiltse, JC Mack and Johnny Wilson. Also rumored to be re joining the squad is Jamaican forward, Dane Kelly.
Coming in with strong resumes from MLS and USL teams are Tony Donatelli, Ryan Richter, Sallieu Bundu, Amadou Sanyang, and Kyle Hoffer. There experience should more than help solidify a strong returning core.
Appearing as rookies in the USL are some young prospects, Jose Cuevas and Charlie Romero have impressed with goals throughout the preseason. Cody Ellison and Tyler Mueller will learn much in defense from the experience of Falvey and Wilson.
Between the pipes is Alex Kann and Kevin Klasila. While young, they should benefit from the Battery bringing in former Battery legend, Dusty Huddock as goal keeper coach.
There are also rumors of two more Jamaicans joining the team. Forward with Tivoli Gardens and Jamaican international with 17 caps, Navion Boyd is one. The other is teammates with Dane Kelly at Village United and has two caps for Jamaica, midfielder Dino Williams.
There has also been some rumbling about a couple former Battery players that might train with the Battery this season so the possibly of an match appearance is good. We'll let the Battery or the players themselves release those names though.
It will be interesting to see how the Battery lines up tomorrow with Richmond. But expect both teams looking to make statements early in the season.