Oct. 20 Correction: The original version of this story identified the B-52s as a member of the wrong indoor league. Thanks to commenter Tim for spotting the error.
“We are taking this stage as a preparation for what is coming next season with the Charleston Battery,” Cordoves said Friday in an exchange of messages. “We are aware that the Carolinas Cup will demand high quality, and we want to get to 100 percent to meet the expectations of the club and the fans!”
Cordoves and Chang were two of the three Cuban players the Battery signed in the 2013 offseason. Cordoves said friend and roommate Odisnel Cooper remained in Charleston because the team in Kansas didn’t need any more goalkeepers.
Both Cordoves and Cooper demonstrated big — if sometimes raw — talent in 2013. Cooper started 22 matches and finished the year with the third-best goals-against average in USL PRO. Cordoves made 24 appearances, most of them as a substitute, and finished his rookie season with seven goals, tied for second on the Battery.
Chang flashed eye-popping technical skill in limited playing time, but picked up a hamstring injury in preseason and never quite managed to catch up in strength and game-fitness. He finished the year with 161 minutes in six league appearances. A picture on his Facebook page this week showed him working out in a Wichita gym with this comment: “Working hard!” (“Trabajando duro!”).
Indoor soccer is a preferred off-season option for some USL PRO players, but Battery Coach Mike Anhaeuser doesn’t recommend it for all his players. For instance, Nicki Paterson did a stint with the Baltimore Blast early in his career, and said it helped him develop his footwork. But when Jose Cuevas sat down with Anhaeuser after the 2012 season, the USL PRO Rookie of the Year said the coach suggested indoor might not be his best option.
Cordoves said he and Chang made the contact in Wichita via a friend, but that Anhaeuser and their agent had something to do with it as well. “Everybody put their two cents in.”
The B-52s open their regular season on Nov. 2, and play through mid-February.
In other Battery player news… well, really, I’ve got nothing.
There’s been no confirmed word on Mike Azira since he scored in the Seattle Sounders’ final reserve match on Monday, but as Joshua Mayers of The Seattle Times points out, the club can’t sign anyone now until after MLS Cup.
Dane Kelly left Philadelphia after a short trial with the Union in September. He’s been rumored in at least one other camp, but I’ve got zero confirmation on any of that.
Colin Falvey stirred things up on Facebook on Oct. 6 when he posted a photo of himself with his agent in Miami and said he’d “just penned a new deal.” Whatever he meant by that, he later said privately that he had no news to pass along. Nicki Paterson is in Scotland preparing for his wedding, and when I last heard from him he’d not signed with any of the local teams.
Jose “Chiva” Cuevas is back home in California, where he’s working as a temp for International Paper and recently bought a house with some of his younger family members. My favorite Cuevas status update of the offseason came earlier today: “Regular Temp working at international paper does 8 hours and 4 machines!! Chiva as a temp works 12 hours and on 7 machines!! No pasa nada!! Always be the best at everything u do!!”
Austin Savage has stayed in town, and recently faced a tough decision. He had a job offer from a local parks and rec department, but his prospective employers wanted assurances that he wouldn’t take off to play professionally. He couldn’t make that promise, and turned down the job. On the bright side, the ankle injury he brought into his rookie season is finally 100 percent healed, and Savage is playing for multiple teams and training all around Charleston. He has some outside opportunities in the works, but nothing to report yet. Stay tuned.
About the PASL
TOP PHOTO: That’s Heviel Cordoves and Maikel Chang on the far left in this B-52s photo of team members helping out at a charity event for Down’s Syndrome in Wichita. Facebook photo.