With other things on my to-do list this week, I took a mental-health day on Tuesday. But there’s stuff to talk about, as usual.
First, in case you missed it, Mikey Buytas, president of The Regiment, put out a link yesterday to a project he’s been working on for a while: A gallery of jersey photos from Battery history. Since that history now dates back to 1993, cataloging it isn’t all that simple, but compiling a record like this is a great example of one of the things a supporters’ group can do for the club.
The project isn’t complete yet. By my count, Mikey still needs uniform images from 1994, 1995, 1996, 2005, 2006 and 2009. If you happen to have some photos of the team from those years, why not dig them up and send them his way?
And while you’re at it, why not join the Regiment? I deal with my shyness at meeting people by interviewing them, but having now gotten over that hurdle, let me report what friendly people these members are. Stop by their recruiting table at the next home match and fill out the form. Membership comes with schwag, and if you were buying the schwag separately you’d wind up spending more than the cost of membership. Support the Regiment, support the club. Hoo-ah.
WILSON SIGNS: The word on veteran fullback John Wilson during the first couple weeks of camp was that he hadn’t officially signed, but that … well, nothing was official yet. Anyway, it got official today with this announcement by the club.
Coach Anhaeuser managed Wilson’s time during the Carolina Challenge Cup, but it’s not as if he’s still learning the system. Wilson is a fan favorite (at least in our household), and as Battery marketing director Whitney Woods hashtagged the news, a #classact.
— Whitney Woods (@WhitneyTWoods) February 27, 2013
PRESEASON: Speaking of the club, it released its preseason schedule on Monday, and the bottom line is nine matches against six teams (at Clemson, at Georgia Southern University, versus Wilmington, and home-and-away series with the College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University, and the Carolina Railhawks) between Thursday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 30. Six of these will be played locally, five of them at Blackbaud, and only one is being promoted as a paid-gate event (March 23’s rematch of the USL PRO championship game against Wilmington).
For most of us, that means six additional local soccer matches to add to our calendars: Tomorrow at 2:30 at Patriots Point with the College of Charleston; March 5 against Georgia Southern; March 7 against Coastal Carolina; March 19 against the College of Charleston; March 23 against Wilmington; and March 30 against the Railhawks.
The most intriguing road trip possibility of the schedule is the March 15 match in Cary, N.C. The Railhawks occasionally get mentioned as dark horse candidates for MLS expansion, and friends have described WakeMed Soccer Park as a great little stadium. It’s four hours each way and the match time has yet to be set. If anyone is interested in riding up and splitting gas, let me know. I’m thinking about it, and if nothing else we could probably do a little ride-boarding here.
MLS EXPANSION: While Cary, N.C., falls in the dark-horse category for a top-tier franchise, Orlando’s chances are much better. This says something about the tipsy-swerving nature of the North American soccer pyramid (you’d think that a club in a “higher” tier would be in a better market and stand a better chance at moving up, and you’d be wrong), but it also says a lot about Orlando’s civic commitment to winning an MLS franchise.
If you’d like to see MLS soccer in Orlando, here’s the petition you can sign in support.
Speaking of Orlando Lions, here’s a Union Dues Q&A with the leader of The Iron Lion Firm, which is the news of the club’s supporters groups. Couple of interesting things in here. First, what’s this about racist chants from the Hammerheads fans? And then the other is this candid exchange:
3- What is your groups relationship with the team like?
At first, the team (front office) did NOT care for us. They were already working with the other group and since they were more “soccer moms” than anything else, they were easy to work with. We (ILF) on the other hand did not do what the club asked. We started using real smokebombs after the front office asked us to stop. Foul language was another issue, but we kept speaking our minds. Now the front office has made us the poster children to promote the club. We work very well together and we have even patch up our relationship with the other supporters group, because the front office has asked us to.
Today was also Battery profile day at Union Dues, btw.
And while we’re sorta on the subject of expansion, here’s a look at Orlando’s anticipated rivals for the 20th spot in MLS: The New York Cosmos. They’re building a roster, and wowing people with stadium plans for Queens.