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Van Schaik Takes Most Valuable Player Honors in 2019 Awards

By Charleston Battery Staff, 10/21/19, 12:30PM EDT


Betsy McAdams Newcomer of the Year, Kyle Nelson

The former Wofford Terrier defender made eighteen starts at right-back and played over 1,500 minutes in twenty appearances in his first full season with the club. Nelson registered thirty-eight clearances and thirty-five interceptions to go along with a 65% tackle success rate.

Nelson showcased his ability to contribute in the attacking third, assisting on two match-winning goals against Memphis 901 FC and North Carolina FC. He'll look to improve on a very successful first year of play.

David Vaughan Memorial Award, Nico Rittmeyer

Rittmeyer came on late in the season to begin the Battery's run at a postseason spot, scoring twice over the last month of play. He scored his first goal of the season against Atlanta United II before grabbing a late winner against North Carolina FC four days later. Rittmeyer set up Zeiko Lewis' goal in the match against Memphis and finished the season with 31 appearances in 2019. 

In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Rittmeyer has served the Battery through a number of community appearances and events. The College of Charleston alum has made multiple visits to the MUSC Children's Hospital Atrium and Psychiatry Department, attended a clinic at Camp Communication, and participated in the Battery's hosting of the South Carolina Special Olympics soccer team. 

Offensive Player of the Year, Zeiko Lewis 

Lewis burst onto the scene for the Black and Yellow scoring seventeen minutes into his regular-season debut for the Battery against Hartford Athletic. The Bermuda international would go on to score seven goals for the club and adding five assists.

Lewis also created forty-three scoring chances for the Battery this year; fifteen more than any other player. Lewis will set his sights on double-digit goals in 2020 and has the ability to score sensational goals

Derek Revord Defensive Player of the Year, Taylor Mueller 

In his eight-seasons with the club, Mueller is and has been the definition of consistency and perseverance. Mueller started all of his thirty-one appearances for the Battery logging over 2,700 minutes. If not for a nose injury suffered against Indy Eleven earlier this season, Mueller may have played in every match in 2019.

Mueller leads the team in clearances (129), blocked shots (24), and sits fourth in interceptions (38). Mueller has captained the backline to eight shutouts this season with two of the last four. And don't forget about him on corners, he's headed home two goals this season off set-piece situations.

Nigel Cooper, Most Valuable Player, Jarad van Schaik

Van Schaik has plugged into multiple positions for coach Anhaeusers side this season including left midfield, left-back, and most recently center back.

Van Schaik finished the season with three goals including a brace against Nashville SC. He finished second on the team in minutes played (2,841), only thirty-nine minutes less than goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky, and started in thirty-two of the Battery's thirty-four matches.

The veteran thrived in attack and defense on the left wings leading the team with 1,577 passes and eighty-three interceptions. The Battery are in good hands entering the playoffs with van Schaik and Mueller leading the back line.

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