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On the Southern Derby Cup

In this week’s article, Regiment correspondent Mike Buytas joins us to give us all a history lesson on the Southern Derby Cup, a near 17-year old battle for supremacy between the USL’s southern clubs not only for points, but for bragging rights as well.

Nearly 17 years ago, a group a fans on the now defunct USLdiscussion discussion forum came up with an idea to help promote local rivalries and to encourage fans to travel to away games. Before long, a name was chosen and a trophy was purchased. And so the Southern Derby Cup began.

The initial cup pitted the Raleigh Capital Express, Charleston Battery and Atlanta Silverbacks in 2000 using a home and away format. The winner of that initial competition: Raleigh Capital Express.

Over the years, teams have come and gone.  Seven in fact; the Raleigh Express, Carolina Railhawks, Charlotte Eagles, Charlotte Independence, Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads.  Raleigh disappeared into the history books like so many lower division clubs.  Other teams no longer participate due to realignment and shifts in leagues and divisions but the Charlotte Independence, Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads still battle today.

Saturday’s matchup of this fan created and fan organized contest between the Charleston Battery and the Wilmington Hammerheads will be the first of six matches to crown the 2016 Southern Derby Cup Champion. Charlotte will get in the action the following week as they host the Battery.

The 2016 dates for Southern Derby Cup selected by leaders of the supporters groups for each team have agreed to the following dates to count toward the Southern Derby Cup competition.




Sat April 9



Sat April 16



Wed May 11



Sat Aug 13



Sat Aug 20



Sat Aug 27




The rules are pretty standard:  Each team plays one another twice, once at home and once away.  In years where the schedule is unbalanced, the fans usually picked the last home and away match within the season. Teams get three points for win, one for a draw, zero points for a loss.  In the case that there are two or more teams on the same points at the end of the year, the following tie breakers are used:

  • Goal difference in all the Derby matches.
  • Greater number of goals scored in all Derby matches.
  • Greater number of points obtained in all Derby matches between the teams concerned.
  • Goal difference resulting from all Derby matches between the teams concerned.
  • Greater number of goals scored in all the Derby matches between the teams concerned.

Below are the past winners of the Southern Derby Cup

  • 2000: Raleigh Capital Express
  • 2001: Charlotte Eagles
  • 2002: Atlanta Silverbacks
  • 2003: Charleston Battery
  • 2004: Atlanta Silverbacks
  • 2005:  Charleston Battery and Atlanta Silverbacks (co-champions)
  • 2006: Atlanta Silverbacks
  • 2007: Carolina Railhawks
  • 2008: Carolina Railhawks
  • 2009: Carolina Railhawks and Charleston Battery (co-champions)
  • 2010: Charleston Battery
  • 2011: Charleston Battery
  • 2012: Charlotte Eagles
  • 2013 Charlotte Eagles
  • 2014 Wilmington Hammerheads
  • 2015 Charleston Battery


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