Orlando City Soccer & New York City Soccer to square off in Carolina Challenge Cup in February!

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The first-ever meeting of Major League Soccer 2015 expansion clubs New York City Football Club and Orlando City Soccer Club, will take place at Daniel Island’s Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21, Charleston Battery President Andrew Bell announced today.

The historic match between the two new rivals will take the headlining nightcap spot on the first night of an eight-day tournament that features six matches between four teams, played in double-headers on Saturday, Feb. 21, Wednesday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 28. All three nights will be played at Blackbaud Stadium, with 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. start times.

Tickets go on sale Monday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m.

Charleston Battery will open the tournament on Feb. 21 against Houston at 5 p.m and the Orlando – New York game will follow at 7.30pm.

The tournament’s second night will feature NYCFC vs. Houston at 5 p.m, with the Battery taking on their former USL PRO rivals Orlando City in the 7:30 nightcap on Feb. 25.

The Challenge Cup is determined by points (three for a win, one for a draw) and will be presented to the 2015 champion on Saturday, Feb. 28. Orlando City faces Houston in the early match, with the Battery meeting NYCFC for the first time ever in the late start.

Tickets for the tournament start at $50 for all three nights, with single-night tickets starting at $20. Challenge Cup tickets are currently on sale to Battery 2015 season ticket holders who wish to purchase additional seats. Tournament partners and select groups will be allowed to purchase pre-sale tickets online only using special promo codes beginning Nov. 21.

For information on CCC ticket prices, call (843) 972-GOAL (4625).

The host club, Charleston Battery, began play in 1993 – making it one of the oldest clubs in North American soccer when measured by continuous operation. The Battery pre-dates all three of the Cup’s visiting teams– as well as MLS, which began play as a league in 1996. Battery teams have won four league championships, most recently in 2012, and the 2008 squad become the last non-MLS team to reach the finals of the U.S. Open Cup. The Battery have never won the Challenge Cup, but finished second in 2008 and 2011. The team competes in USL PRO, one of North America’s two lower-division professional leagues.

Blackbaud Stadium seats 5,100 and is patterned after the traditional design of many lower-division English football grounds. It became the first privately financed soccer-specific stadium in North America when it opened in 1999, and its on-site pub, The Three Lions Club, contains the most extensive public collection of soccer memorabilia in the country. The ‘Baud is widely considered one of the sport’s hidden gems, and a foundation of professional soccer’s popular resurgence in the United States.

The Carolina Challenge Cup became the first North American preseason tournament to invite teams from Major League Soccer to train and play competitive matches at a lower-tier soccer grounds when it began in 2004. In 2014, MLS agreed to partner with the Battery in promoting the popular and pioneering tournament. The Charleston Area Visitors Bureau, the City of Charleston, the City of North Charleston and the Town of Mount Pleasant have joined the league in contributing to this year’s marketing effort.


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