Monday, February 25, 2013

Carolina Challenge Cup Wraps Up

The Carolina Challenge Cup ended Saturday with the Chicago Fire winning the tournament after defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 while the Charleston Battery ended the 10th annual preseason tournament on a high note defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Overall the play was great. The weather; not so much. Rain, wind and freezing cold keep most fans away but the Battery staff did a great job in keeping the field pristine and running the show.   The fans that did come were rewarded with a total of 22 goals scored in six games.  A some fantastic goals they were too including a stellar diving-scorpion kick by Vancouver's Daigo Kobayashi that has gone viral on You Tube.

Odisnel Cooper
Fans also saw an eye opening performance by the Battery's Cuban goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper in the final match against Houston.  The Battery look very competitive against the MLS teams, showing resilience in coming from 3 goals down to nearly earn a draw with Vancouver in the opening match and only failing to take points off Chicago in Wednesday match up with a fantastic last second strike by the Fire's stole a well deserved draw from Charleston.

The consensus in the Three Lions Pub following the final kick on Saturday is this Battery team is looking good, no doubt bolstered by the fact that 14 to 15 players are returning from the last years squad.  But the returning Battery veterans look to have some competition this season.  Antiguian national team player, Quinton Griffith looked very good playing right back and right midfield and has the wheels to get up and down the flanks.  Cuban Evier Cordovez only came on as a substitute in two of the matches but showed strength up top. College of Charleston alumni, Sean Ferguson also was solid in the center of defense.
Quinton Griffith

Other players on trail that impressed, Austin Savage with his game winning goal against Houston, Jarad Van Schaik worked the wings well and Gibson Bardsley didn't look out of place against the MLS squads.

Unfortunately we were unable to see the third Cuban, Maikel Chang.  After looking very impressive in the Battery player trials, he was sidelined with a hamstring injury.  He is the type of player that has the ability to take on defenders and has very good ball control.

Next up for the Battery, a preseason match with the College of Charleston listed for Thursday at 2pm 2:30pm at Patriots Point.


Anonymous said...

Match @ C of C is 2:30

Mikey said...

Thanks for the correction on the time. updated the blog.