Monday, April 11, 2011

Jedi Soccer Adopts Battery

I've decided to adopt the Charleston Battery as a team that Jedi Soccer will follow.

I've been looking at the Batterry for a few years now and, overall, I like what I see.  The Charleston Battery is clearly one of the most successful Division II professional soccer teams in North America, and currently I do not have a side in the USL-PRO division that I am tracking, so I've settled upon the Battery as the USL side I will follow.

This hasn't been easy for me.  I am a fan of DC United, which the Battery regards as their main rival for the Carolina Cup each year, and to be candid, I don't really like the state of South Carolina very much.  It's mostly a place I drive through at high speed on my way to Florida, something like the east coast version of 'flyover country.'  I will always care more about the Division II Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL, for example, than I ever will about the Charleston Battery.

But the Battery is a class act, a cut above most Division II sides in organization and professionalism.  Established in 1993, the team has won three championships: the USISL Pro League in 1996, the USL A-League in 2003, and the final season of the USL Second Division in 2010.  They are also the owners of the first soccer-specific stadium built in the United States, the 5,100 seat Blackbaud Stadium, modeled on Division II English soccer stadiums, and even featuring an on-site pub called 'The Three Lions," presumably after the English national team and presumably because the team owner, Tony Bakker, is an Englishman.  Coached by two-time USL Manager of the year Mike Anhaeuser, himself a former Battery player, Charleston seems to consistently field a quality product year after year, giving the appearance of being the classiest team of the USL-PRO league.  They even have a well-organized supporters group, The Regiment, which turns out supporters for every home match.  The overall package is impressive.  This looks like a fun club to follow!

So, I hereby designate the Charleston Battery, as an official 'Jedi Soccer' football team. 

This past weekend, the Battery won their season opener against the Christian Evangelically-themed Charlotte Eagles.  The only goal of the game came when Charlotte defender Mark Bloom deflected the ball into his own goal in the midst of a confused melee in the box, following a cross from Jamaican forward Dane Kelley, which gave the Battery their season-opening win.

Not very inspiring, but a win is a win.  I look forward to writing future Jedi-Soccer headlines such as, "Charleston Battery Shells Christians" and other funny and delightful stories.  Check in here at Jedi Soccer weekly for the latest news and match reports for the Charleston Battery.