Good afternoon, Lowcountry soccer fans.
Several things to talk about as we ease into the week…
State high school championships
All three local teams that made the trip up to Gilbert on Friday and Saturday brought home hardware.
The Academic Magnet girl’s team ended regulation tied 1-1 with Christ Church in the 2A/1A game, and stayed level through two extra time periods and a perfect five-penalty-kick series by both teams. But Christ Church missed high on the first sudden-death penalty kick and freshman Maegan Reed buried the game-winner. In the 4A girls final, Wando scored early against J.L. Mann and cruised to a 2-0 win. Live 5 News has a good writeup on both games by Kevin Bilodeau, plus video.
On Saturday, the Bishop England boys won in dramatic style against Indian Land High School, scoring in overtime to win 4-3. Once again, Live 5 did the coverage work.
Final tallies for all the championship matches, via SCSoccer.com:
2A/1A @ 3 pm
Christ Church 1-2 (pk 6-5)
3A @ 5 pm
Eastside 2-3 Hilton Head Island
4A @ 7 pm
J.L. Mann 0-2 Wando
1A @ 11:30 am
St. Joseph’s 12-0 Blackville-Hilda
2A @ 1:30 pm
Indian Land 3-4 (ot) Bishop England
3A @ 3:30 pm
Eastside 0-1 Hilton Head Island
4A @ 6 pm
Irmo 1-0 (pk 4-3) Lexington
Charleston adult rec playoffs
Our writer Nick Johnson covered the Division 3 adult men’s club semifinals on Sunday, splitting time between two simultaneous matches on adjacent fields on James Island. The Vintage Old Peculiars and The Roost advanced to the championship, which has yet to be scheduled, but we’ll try to get that covered as well.
One of the reasons we’re covering this particular competition is because Bradley Simmons of The Plague Rats reached out to us about it. We want to figure out ways to cover all the leagues and competitions here locally, but without a real staff yet, we’re extremely suggestible. If you’d like some coverage for your team, league or organization, please email Dan Conover, and we’ll work something out.
Survival Sunday came and went
And so ends another season of English Premier League soccer.
Our writer John Ace spent it with his friends in the Official Liverpool Supporters Club of South Carolina at Madra Rua. We were at Molly Darcy’s during the May farewell covering the Battery’s bit win at Houston, but there was a fair smattering of EPL fans out early for the games, too. I know the Charsenal group that our Dan McGraw wrote about was out to celebrate the Gunners’ successful campaign. And I saw fans wearing different team kits walking to bars on King Street as I rode south to the Market.
As we move ahead to the 2013-14 EPL season, lots of things are going to change. NBC’s new contract will kick in when the English game returns in August, which means that lots of fans who can’t get Fox Soccer for various reasons (myself included) are going to have access to an unprecedented number of free-to-air matches.
With the season winding down, we managed to cover a couple of local supporters groups, but by August we intend to have the most comprehensive list of fan groups, contacts and associated bars anywhere in the Lowcountry. If you have a group of friends that meets to support a club and watch games, we want you to contact us. Once again, email Dan Conover.
Also, congratulations to Dan McGraw, who graduated from MUSC Pharmacy School this weekend.
Speaking of Supporters
USMNT Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has announced his roster for the May-June camp and calendar, which includes two European friendlies plus Hex qualifiers for the World Cup. This means two things: Arguments about who should be in camp, and U.S. team games to watch.
My question is, what can this site do to help move Charleston from a place where there are members of the American Outlaws to a place with an active, official A.O. chapter? According to the site, basically what we need are 25 people to sign up and pay their dues. Which, you know, we could probably organize if we got our act together for the May 29 friendly against Belgium.
These are the eligibility requirements, plus the stuff you get for being official. CHSSoccer.net doesn’t want to run this — but we stand ready to do whatever necessary to aid local fans in taking the next step. If you have questions, contact Dan Conover or just leave a comment below.
Day-after Battery notes
The Charleston Battery‘s 1-0 win on the road against the Houston Dynamo Reserves probably deserves its own standalone article, but there just isn’t time today with the other things that need doing today.
Some things that deserve a shout, though:
EMMANUEL ADJETEY IS ON FIRE: You may have noticed that I keep bringing up this guy’s name. And the reason for that is that he keeps doing clever things.
Anyway, “Jetey” earned a well-deserved assist for his field-switching cross to Dane Kelly that set up the winning score on Sunday. Adjetey started in place of regular Battery left back John Wilson, in order to keep the American player fresh for the Battery’s U.S. Open Cup match Tuesday in Portland, and once again he turned in a notable performance.
Coaches always talk about players making the most of their chances and working themselves into contention for starting jobs, and several Charleston players fall into that category this year. Adjetey, Michael Azira, Zach Prince, Ben Fisk and both Odisnel Cooper and Kevin Klasila in goal have each risen to the occasion when given chances. But maybe the biggest surprise is Adjetey, simply because we knew the least about him when he arrived on a loan from Vancouver.
Anyway, keep your eye on him.
OUCH: One surprise Sunday morning was seeing Cody Ellison at Molly Darcy’s. The big Battery centerback from California stayed behind this weekend because his Red Card ejection against Wilmington wound up turning into a three-game league ban. The referee assessed that Ellison had thrown an elbow against a Hammerhead, and he said the extended time out was apparently because the blow went to the player’s head.
Ellison left this morning for Portland, where he’ll rejoin his teammates in advance of Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup clash with the Timbers U-23 PDL team. But when he returns to Charleston he’ll still have to sit out the upcoming May 25th home match against Rochester.
SPEED KILLS: Quinton Griffith’s injury is enough to keep him home this week, but Q isn’t the only blur on this year’s Battery squad. Dane Kelly has wheels of his own, as evidenced by the stat line from Sunday’s match. The Battery not only used plenty of pace en route to out-shooting the sluggish Dynamo 12-5, they also had five attacks called back for off-sides violations (none for Houston). I think three or four of those were called on Kelly, and one of those was particularly dubious.
The point being, the Battery saw an advantage with Kelly against that MLS back line, and they repeatedly tried to use his speed to exploit it.
Kelly’s goal ties him with Nicki Paterson and Michael Azira for the team lead with three. And having watched a lot of MLS soccer this weekend, I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how Kelly is of a forward prospect than at least a dozen players on MLS rosters this season.
Speaking of Azira, remember when he was “too nice?” You didn’t think that yesterday if you watched him battling for position in midfield.
PRINCE TAZ: Battery fan Scott Johnstone is a creative guy. You’ve probably seen people wearing his DIY “Jose Cuevas: Take The Shot” T-shirts, or maybe you saw his Kevin “Gozilla” Klasila Photochop. But we got to talking about the things that Zach Prince brings to the midfield as a defensive substitute on Sunday, and later on he figured out who Prince reminds him of these days.
“Michelle and I were talking this afternoon … and it dawned on me who Zach Prince reminds me of. He’s like the Tazmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny. A whirling dervish, or controlled mayhem and destruction.”
SPEAKING OF CONTROLLED DESTRUCTION: I thought Colin Falvey played one of his better matches of 2013 Sunday, not only blowing up Houston’s best-laid plans in the box but also passing accurately and keeping his back line organized and effective.
One of my favorite numbers this season is 720. That’s the number of minutes Falvey has played. It’s also the official number of minutes in Battery matches this season. So how huge is it for the team to have a captain who simply comes on and stays on, week after week?
It’s not like Falvey hasn’t taken his shots. He went down and stayed down after a collision with Cooper yesterday, and that’s easy to believe. The man’s a brick wall. But it was shocking to see Falvey walk off the pitch.
He stayed out of the match for all of about 30 seconds. But we won’t count that against him.
#STREAMTHEMATCH: If you were online last night, you might have noticed our little “stream the match” hashtag campaign on Twitter. The idea was to convince Timbers owner Merritt Paulson to stream the U-23s v. Battery game tomorrow night, and apparently it worked.
@jmsloop we will stream the game but no announcers.Clean feed.Not something we do w U-23s . Exception only cause i like charleston
— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) May 20, 2013
That’s good news, but since that’s also not exactly a detailed confirmation, I’m waiting to hear from a more official source what that might mean in practice before I celebrate. I’ll follow on that later. But for now, it’s good news, and thanks to everyone who pitched in.
Fantasy League update
It’s time to break up the Holy City Hooligans. Regiment President Mikey Buytas is running away with The Regiment’s MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager League. Not only did he score 100 to win another weekly round, he also strengthened his hold on the top spot. He’s also the only competitor to reach 700 points.
Melissa Grooms finished second this week, climbing back into a two-way tie for fourth place, while weekly second-place man Luke Largin expanded his lead over the third-place club, Xarktopia LLC.