Battery to open season with home and home with Kickers | Sports & Recreation
DANIEL ISLAND - The Charleston Battery kicks off its 20th season this April with a home and away series against its oldest rival, the Richmond Kickers.
The Battery and the Kickers have been battling since 1993, both teams are celebrating their 20th anniversaries in 2012 and along with fellow USL PRO side the Charlotte Eagles are the longest continuously operating professional soccer teams in the United States.
“To reach the twenty-season milestone is a testament to the dedication of both teams and their commitment to grow the sport in the United States,” said Andrew Bell, Charleston Battery president. “Richmond has always been a solid club and we’ve been fortunate to enjoy a long rivalry with them. There is always an extra edge to our games and we look forward to two very competitive matches with them to start this special season.”
“We are looking forward to kicking off our 2012 season against the Battery,” said Richmond head coach Leigh Cowlishaw. “There is no better feeling than beating them and I know their fans feel the same way about beating the Kickers. We are proud to have shared twenty memorable years with the Battery and expect a fiercely competitive set of matches to entertain the fans.”
The Charleston Battery visits Richmond on April 7 for the season opener and then hosts the Kickers the following Saturday, April 14 for the home opener.
The Battery’s first ever league match was against Richmond on May 1 1993 in a game played at Stoney Field in downtown Charleston. The Battery won that match 2-1 behind goals from Mario Lone and Nigel James.
The overall series between the teams is tipped slightly in Charleston’s favor. In the 43 games played the Battery have won 20, lost 19 with 4 games ending tied.
Despite having played in the same league for twenty years the two sides have only met in one championship game with the Battery 2-1 winners in the 2010 USL 2 final. Charleston and Richmond have each won three league titles, Charleston in 1996, 2003 and 2010 and Richmond in 1995, 2006 and 2009. The Kickers also won the 1995 U.S. Open Cup.
Over the years there have been several players that have played for both sides, the list includes: Mario Lone, Marco Feruzzi, Mike Burke, Scott Cannon, Mac Cozier, Kevin Scott, Greg Simmonds, Josh Henderson, Kelvin Jones, Luke Vercollone & Anthony Catalano.
To celebrate the occasion Richmond and Charleston will be competing for a special ‘Pioneer Cup’ over the two-game series. In addition the Charleston Battery will be wearing custom black & white striped retro 1993 jerseys and will be hosting its first ever alumni weekend with all former players and their families invited back to Charleston to attend the game.
Release provided by The Charleston Battery.
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