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2009 Carolina Challenge Cup Announced
January 20, 2009, 12:18 PM
Filed under: Announcement, Carolina Challenge Cup, Toronto FC, USL

Charleston, SC. The Charleston Battery will square off with DC United in a re-match of the 2008 U.S. Open Cup final during the 2009 Carolina Challenge Cup to be held at Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston SC, March 7 – 14. United defeated the Battery 2-1 in last year’s national championship game, the match was played at RFK Stadium in Washington DC.

DC will join two other sides from Major League Soccer, Toronto FC & Real Salt Lake plus the USL First Division’s Charleston Battery for the prestigious pre-season tournament. Toronto returns for a third consecutive tournament appearance while Real Salt Lake make a first ever visit to Blackbaud Stadium. 2009 marks the sixth consecutive year that the Charleston Battery has hosted the Carolina Challenge Cup.

Charleston Battery head coach, Mike Anhaeuser,

“Once again the organization has brought together three fantastic teams from Major League Soccer and as in past years this will be a great test for the Battery players as we begin to build for our season. It is good have Toronto back again and also to welcome Salt Lake for a first visit. I am also looking forward to having DC United back in Charleston as our games in the past, including last year’s cup final have always been exciting matches.”

All three MLS teams will spend the week in Charleston, SC, training between the games as they prepare for the start of the Major League Soccer season.

The competition format will remain unchanged in 2009 with three match day’s each featuring a double-header. The games will be played on Saturday (March 7) – Wednesday (March 11) – Saturday (March 14), with each team playing the other in a round-robin tournament.

DC United
The match versus DC United gives the Charleston Battery an opportunity to reverse the result from last year’s Cup Final. The Open Cup win capped a mixed season for United who just missed the MLS playoffs and also suffered an early exit from the CONCACAF Champions League. However the U.S. Open Cup victory guarantees DC entry into the 2009 Champions League tournament.

United returns to the Carolina Challenge Cup for a fourth appearance; DC participated from 2004 – 2006 but has never lifted the trophy. United’s roster includes two designated players, Brazilian striker Luciano Emilio and Argentinean midfielder Marcelo Gallardo.

Toronto FC
Despite a second stellar season at the turnstiles that saw anther 15 consecutive sell-outs Toronto F.C. missed the MLS post-season finishing in 7th position in the Eastern Standings albeit just four points outside the playoffs.

Led by second year head coach John Carver, TFC bolstered its roster during the off-season acquiring Canadian striker and two-time MLS Cup MVP (2001, 2007) Dwayne De Rosario. This is the third consecutive year that TFC will have visited Charleston for its pre-season.

Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake makes a first ever visit to Charleston for this year’s Carolina Challenge Cup; the tournament will also mark the first time that RSL has squared off against the Charleston Battery. Real Salt Lake joined MLS in 2005 as the leagues 12th team, last summer RSL celebrated its third season with the opening of a new soccer-specific facility, Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL also enjoyed considerable success on the pitch in 2008. After finishing third in the Western Conference Salt Lake advanced to the Western Conference championship (MLS Cup semifinal) but lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls.

Carolina Challenge Cup Tickets
Tickets for the 2009 Carolina Challenge Cup are on sale now with prices frozen at 2008 levels. Fans can purchase tickets for each doubleheader or for the six match series. Tickets for single doubleheaders (includes two games) are priced at $25 Club / Box & just $15 bleacher.

Series Tickets (includes all three double-headers) Club / Box $50 – Bleacher $35

2009 Charleston Battery Season Ticket holders receive a discount on their series tickets and can purchase Club / Box seats at a 50% discount for just $25 (includes all matches).

Group Discount – Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more; to purchase tickets or for more information please call (843) 971-4625 or visit http://www.charlestonbattery.com.

Carolina Challenge Cup past participants and winners
Bold denotes tournament winner
2004
Charleston Battery (USL1)
Columbus Crew (MLS)
DC United (MLS)
Wilmington Hammerheads (USL2)

2005
Charleston Battery (USL1)
Columbus Crew (MLS)
DC United (MLS)
San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

2006
Charleston Battery (USL1)
DC United (MLS)
Houston Dynamo (MLS)
MetroStars (MLS)

2007
Charleston Battery (USL1)
Houston Dynamo (MLS)
New York Red Bulls (MLS)
Toronto FC (MLS)

2008
Charleston Battery (USL1)
New York Red Bulls (MLS)
San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Toronto FC (MLS)

Source: Click Here

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Is it same in Canada as in USA with soccer popularity ?

Comment by Luka Modric

Yes, Soccer is probably more popular per capita than it is in the US

Comment by tfcnews




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