Photo courtesy of Columbus Crew SC
CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston Battery announced today that Columbus Crew SC is the third Major League Soccer club competing in Carolina Challenge Cup this February at MUSC Health Stadium. Crew SC joins the Chicago Fire, FC Cincinnati, and the Charleston Battery for the round-robin tournament on February 16, 20, and 23.
Columbus will return to Challenge Cup for the third consecutive year after winning the tournament in 2017 and 2018. Preseason success has translated into regular season success for Crew SC; the club made deep runs in the Eastern Conference playoffs in both of the previous two seasons.
“We’re excited to bring Columbus back for another year,” said Charleston Battery Chairman Eric Bowman. “Crew SC is a fantastic club with a great pedigree and a lot of really talented players. This tournament allows us to bring some of the biggest names in professional soccer in this country to Charleston and there are several players on Columbus’ roster that we’re looking forward to seeing. ”
Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp, and Zack Steffen will all return to Challenge Cup in February. Zardes has experienced a resurgence with Crew SC and was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year in November after scoring 19 goals in 33 appearances in 2018. Trapp served as captain of the U.S. Men’s National Team eight times in 2018 was recently nominated for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year, losing out to Steffen in the end.
Crew SC recently announced Steffen’s transfer to Manchester City for the highest transfer fee for a goalkeeper in MLS history. Steffen will play with Columbus for the first half of the 2019 season before moving to the English Premier League club in July.
Zardes, Trapp, and Steffen join Bastian Schweinsteiger, Fanendo Adi, and several other MLS stars set to compete in the 2019 Challenge Cup. The 5,100 seat capacity at MUSC Health Stadium offers fans an unmatchable game-day experience and interaction with some of the league’s best players.
Single-day tickets, series passes, and group experiences for Challenge Cup are on sale now at charlestonbattery.com. Single-day tickets include both matches of the doubleheader and series passes include all six matches of the tournament. Special rates for groups of 15 or more start at $20. To book a group experience, call 843-971-GOAL.
Challenge Cup Schedule:
Saturday, February 16
Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire 5:00 PM
Charleston Battery vs. FC Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Wednesday, February 20
Charleston Battery SC vs. Columbus Crew 5:00 PM
Chicago Fire vs. FC Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 23
Columbus Crew SC vs. FC Cincinnati 5:00 PM
Charleston Battery vs. Chicago Fire 7:30 PM