Kickers, Battery Celebrate 20 Years With A Darby.

The Richmond Kickers and Charleston Battery will celebrate their 20th Anniversary seasons in 2012. Part of a joint celebration will be a home and away darby called the Pioneer Cup.

The Kickers will host the Ba3ttery on Saturday, April 7 for the first leg of the home-and-home series, while the second game will be played Saturday, April 14 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston. The Pioneer Cup champion will be determined by the aggregate score of the two games.

The Battery and Kickers both launched in 1993,. And along with the Charlotte Eagles, also a membrer of the USL PRO league, the trio are the longest, continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the United States. The first game between Charleston and Richmond was on May 1, 1993 at Stoney Field in Charleston, which the Battery won 2-1.

Mario Lone and Nigel James scored the two Battery goals, while Leigh Cowlishaw, who is the current Richmond head coach, scored for the Kickers.
“I can still recall our first game against the Battery in 1993 and after countless challenges and obstacles, it is a testament to both clubs that twenty years later these two organizations are experiencing unprecedented success on and off the field,” commented Cowlishaw.

“We are looking forward to kicking off our 2012 season against the Battery,” added Cowlishaw. “There is no better feeling than beating them and I know their fans feel same way about beating the Kickers. We are proud to have shared twenty memorable years with the Battery and expect a fiercely competitive set of matches to entertain the fans.”

Since their inception, the Kickers and the Battery have met 43 times over the past 19 seasons, with Charleston narrowly leading the all-time series record with 20 wins, 19 losses and four draws. Most recently, both teams were successful on their home turf in 2011, as the clubs exchanged a 2-1 scoreline early in the season. Despite combining for six league Championship titles (Charleston 1996, 2003, 2010; Richmond 1995, 2006, 2009), the two sides have only met in one high-stakes match,?with the Battery stripping the Kickers of the USL Second Division crown in a heated 2-1 affair on August 28, 2010.

Sharing more than just records and tradition, the Kickers and the Battery have seen several players on both sides of the pitch including Marco Ferruzzi, Mike Burke, Scott Cannon, Mac Cozier, Kevin Scott, Mario Lone, Greg Simmonds, Josh Henderson, Kelvin Jones, Luke Vercollone and Anthony Catalano.

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