The draw for the first round of the US Open Cup has been made, giving the Charleston Battery an idea of who they may face when they enter the competition in the second round.
The first round draw pits the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NPSL against the SC United Bantams of the PDL, with both teams vying for a chance to take on the Black and Yellow in the second round.
The Battery have history with both sides. The Silverbacks and Battery were both in the same league from 1997 until 2009 when the Silverbacks would eventually join the NASL in what grew to become a rivalry between the two clubs. The two teams were part of the initial group of teams who competed for the Southern Derby, with the Silverbacks winning the fan-run competition on three occasions by themselves and once as co-champions in 2005. After joining the NASL after a two-year hiatus in 2011, they would join the NPSL in 2016, and were eliminated from the Open Cup in the first round.
The SC United Bantams have had a bit of a partnership with the Battery since their establishment in 2011, with many players going back and forth between the two sides, perhaps most notably Austin Savage, who played for the Bantams in between two stints for the Battery and is now plying his trade with Lowcountry United. This would be the first competitive meeting between the two teams, who have been known to meet in pre-season.
As the above photo shows, if the Silverbacks win, they’ll host the match in an early kick off on May 17th in Atlanta, with the Battery hosting in a 7PM kick off at MUSC Health Stadium if the Bantams prevail.
Whatever the case, the draw sets up a mouthwatering scenario for the Battery. A chance to renew an old rivalry may await, or friends may become foes dependent on the result.
The Silverbacks and Bantams face off on May 10th at 5PM, with second round matches being played a week later.