The Charleston Battery have built a national reputation as a club that can not only compete with teams in Major League Soccer, but beat them on a regular basis.
The Battery defeated MLS’ Minnesota United and played to a scoreless draw against Atlanta United during February’s Carolina Challenge Cup.
On Wednesday, however, the tables will turned on the Battery as they face South Georgia Tormenta FC — a team made up of mostly college players — in the opening round of the U.S. Open Cup at MUSC Health Stadium.
Tormenta FC advanced to the second round of the national tournament by defeating the Myrtle Beach Mutiny, 2-1, last Wednesday at North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex. Toni Soler and Jad Arslan scored Tormenta’s goals in the victory.
Charleston advanced to the fourth round of the 2017 tournament, beating the Atlanta Silverbacks and Jacksonville Armada on its way to a match-up with Atlanta United. Atlanta defeated the Battery, 3-2, to end their tournament run.
The Battery is one of only two lower-division clubs to advance to the U.S. Open Cup championship game since the MLS era began in 1998. Charleston won four matches, including two against MLS teams, on its run to the 2008 finals. D.C. United beat Charleston, 2-1, at RFK Stadium, in the finals.
Should the Battery win Wednesday night they will take on the winner of the Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) and Elm City Express (NPSL) in the third round.
Charleston Battery officials are asking fans to leave early for matches this week due to the closure of the west bound lane on the James B. Edwards Bridge on Interstate 526.
"Obviously it's not ideal to have the bridge closed during a week that we have two games at our stadium on Daniel Island, but we know our fans will find a way to get here,” said Charleston Battery president Mike Kelleher. “We get tremendous support from Daniel Island, North Charleston, Summerville and other areas, so we're excited for the matches and will move forward as planned. There are alternate routes available for fans coming from Mount Pleasant; we hope they can get here, but if the closure prevents anyone from attending, they can always watch our matches on MyTV Charleston."
The Battery will be going for its fifth-straight USL victory when they take on the Ottawa Fury Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium beginning at 7 p.m.