Charleston Battery Rain delay Field 01.jpg

The Charleston Battery has had four matches postponed this season. The team is scheduled to play at home Saturday night. Andrew Whitaker/Staff

Soccer fans that are thinking about going to watch the Charleston Battery take on Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United in the fourth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in person Thursday shouldn’t bother to make the trip.

Fans won’t be welcome at Fifth Third Bank Field in Kennesaw, Ga.

The Battery will face Atlanta United Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Field in Kennesaw, Ga., home of Atlanta United 2, which plays in the USL, the same league as the Battery.

The game will be televised on ESPN+.

U.S. Soccer, the governing body for the U.S. Open Cup tournament, determined that the match will be a closed-door event due to the immediate rescheduling of the game with insufficient time to secure staff and security personnel at the venue.

The match, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday night was postponed until Thursday night because the field at MUSC Health Stadium was considered “unplayable” after several inches of rain in the Lowcountry.

Just minutes before the match was scheduled to kick off Tuesday night at MUSC Health Stadium and with players on the field warming up, game officials gathered to postpone the game.

“We were deeply disappointed that we could not stage the game at MUSC Health Stadium (Tuesday night),” the Charleston Battery said in a prepared statement. “Our front office staff and grounds crew worked tirelessly in order to have the match played here. The field conditions were favorable early afternoon, however, the torrential rain that Daniel Island received around 4 p.m. (Tuesday) set those efforts back.

“We were encouraged to see both teams warming up as kick off time approached and noted the ball moving freely on most areas of the pitch, sadly the head match official after much consultation deemed the pitch unplayable.”

Charleston Battery officials worked through the night and into Wednesday afternoon trying to find an alternative facility to play the match. The Battery reached out to College of Charleston, Wando High school along with teams in Greenville and Savannah, Ga.

“We have been extensively exploring every option to stage the game in Charleston or within a reasonable driving distance in order for our fans to be in attendance,” the club said in a prepared statement. “We would like to thank the College of Charleston, Wando High School, South Carolina United/Bantams, Greenville Triumph SC and the Savannah Sports Council as well as the United Soccer League in all their help and assistance today.”

Battery officials confirmed that they’d secured Memorial Stadium in Savannah, Ga., to host the match Thursday night, but that U.S. Soccer vetoed their efforts and settled on Fifth Third Bank Field.

This is the third straight year that the Battery has faced Atlanta United in the U.S. Open Cup. The two previous games were held at Fifth Third Bank Field. The Five Stripes defeated Charleston 3-2 in 2017 and 3-0 last season.

Reach Andrew Miller at 843-937-5599. Follow him on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC

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