10th Annual Carolina Challenge Cup

The first few years you organize a week-long series of games it is called an “event.” If all goes well, and it continues after five years you have earned the right to call it a “premier event.”

Ten years and still going, you call that a “tradition.”

Such is the case with the Charleston Battery’s Carolina Challenge Cup. This marks its 10th anniversary year.

Three Major League Soccer teams will find their way to the Lowcountry and Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston for the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup.

This year’s Cup features doubleheaders scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16, Wednesday, Feb. 20 and Saturday, Feb. 23.

The Battery is the defending USL PRO champion, and they will host the MLS Cup runnerup Houston Dynamo, the Chicago Fire and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

For the MLS teams it comes at the close of their preseason. The league regular season opens on March 2. For the Battery, it offers the early opportunity to test itself against the next level of professional soccer in the United States.

Houston is coming to the Carolina Challenge Cup for the third time. They left winners in 2006 and 2007. The Dynamo are led by Coach Dominic Kinnear, who’s seven-year tenure as head coach has included MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007, and four championship games.

Vancouver, which will begin its third MLS season in 2013, will take part in the Carolina Challenge Cup for the first time. Last year they became the first Canadian MLS team to advance to postseason play.

Vancouver is led by head coach Martin Rennie, who is no stranger to the Battery and Blackbaud Stadium having coached against Charleston during his time with the Carolina RailHawks.

Whitecaps FC and the Battery also competed against one another when they were members of the USL First Division from 1997-2009.

Chicago is returning after posting a 1-1-0 record last year in the Challenge Cup. The Fire’s game with Charleston was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms.

The Fire fell to D.C. United last year before defeating the Columbus Crew 1-0.

Tickets for the Carolina Challenge Cup are now on sale through the Battery.
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