Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reading, Blues, Red Bulls and more

Its been an exciting week for Battery fans.  First the Battery faithful found out that Charleston will once again be the host for an English team this summer.  Nottingham Forest will take on the Charleston Battery on July 28 at Blackbaud stadium.  The Battery then defeated Reading United in the USOC on Tuesday and, in turn, will play the New York Red Bulls next Tuesday at the Baud.    On top of all that, the Battery will be home this Saturday to take on the LA Blues in regular league action.

Nottingham Forest so far have announced two matches in America, one against the Orlando City Lions on July 21 and the other here in the Holy City on July 28.  you can read all the details in the Battery's official press release.

In Tuesday's USOC match, the Battery defeated PDL's Reading United 2-1.  The Battery started off the match well earning five corners in the first 20 minutes.  But Reading soon found there rhythm and the match evened out.  Reading took the lead from a corner kick in the 64 minute.  The Battery quickly responded with a great strike from Dane Kelly.  Nicki Paterson took the lead with an awesome 30 plus yard free kick that would have made David Beckham proud.

With the win, the Battery now take on MLS' New York Red Bulls.  The match should feature a now fit and legend Thierry Henry.  How much time Henry plays is up Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe.  Backe has been criticized in the past to his lacksidasal approach to the US Open Cup but has publicly said he plans to take it more serious this season.

Another member of the technical staff that will be familiar to Battery fans is Red Bulls Goalkeeping coach, Todd Hoffard.  Todd played the 2001 and 2002 seasons with the Battery.

The Battery goalkeeping situation seems to be in flux once again.  As you might recall, both the keepers the Battery signed at the beginning of the season, are currently injured.  Alex Kann suffered a knee injury and is about two months into a four month recovery.  Kevin Klasila suffered torn ligaments in his hand and is close to finishing his recover.   The Battery got DC United and former Battery keeper Andrew Dykstra on loan, but DC United did not want Dykstra to be cup tied to Charleston so he is unable to play in the USOC.  As a result, The Battery have signed two more goalkeepers.  Former Wilmington Hammerhead keeper, Brock Duckworth and a youngster Joseph Wichmann.  When we say youngster, we mean youngster; Wichmann, 17,  is currently a junior at Wando High School and is a member of the Battery's U18 USSF Developmental Academy team.  He has signed with a amateur contract that will allow him to still comply with NCAA rules.

Dykstra loan period as appeared to have end with the Battery.  United's usual number 2 keeper is currently out with an eye injury and Dykstra was on the bench for DC United's match against Toronto FC on May 19.  His latest loan contract expired on May 20.

We will see who is minding the net for the Battery in their match this Saturday against the LA Blues.  The Blues are off to a rough start to the USL Pro season and were knocked out of the USOC by PDL side Ventura County.  They also play a match tonight (May 24) against Orlando City Lions in Orlando, giving them one day rest as they travel to Charleston.

Fixture congestion and squad management will test Battery coach Mike Anhaueser over the next 10 days.  The Battery will play four matches in seven days, with the match Saturday against LA, Tuesday USOC match up with NY Red Bulls, and away match on Thursday against Pittsburgh followed by an away match in Dayton Ohio against the Dayton Dutch Lions.  Brutal to say the least.  Auggie will have to utilize his entire roster over this stretch.

Tailgate for Saturday's game will be chicken and sides.  Bring some beer and/or a side and join us near the East Stand entrance.  We also secured a group rate for Tuesday's USOC match against New York.  Ticket in E10 are only $8 each.  you can get yours at the tailgate on Saturday or prior to the match on Tuesday.

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