As more teams release retro collections complete with throwback shirts, we ask which of the Charleston Battery‘s could be re-imagined to lead the way.
In American sport, it’s common for teams to release re-imagined versions of classic shirts to put a spotlight on bygone eras for their given teams. Retro collections have sold well across sport in and as professional leagues such as the NHL and NBA buy into releasing retro collections league-wide, we look at which of the Battery’s classic shirts could be re-released as part of a USL retro collection.
The Battery are no strangers to the retro game. The club released an updated version of their first home kit for their 20th anniversary season in 2012.
Released before the club took on their now-iconic Black and Yellow color scheme, the club won its first league title, the 1996 USISL championship in Black and White at Stoney Field against the Charlotte Eagles. The club took on the Black and Yellow in 1997, and have used it ever since.
1994’s away shirt was Red and white, which were the club’s away colors in those days. A retro shirt is often listed as an alternate shirt for the team, so a different color scheme would perhaps be welcome if the club were to use a retro design. The Battery finished 2nd in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference but were eventually beaten by title Runners Up Minnesota Thunder in the Sizzlin’ Nine semi-finals.
The 1998 home shirt is similar to the 2020 version, which used a black base and yellow accents. The shirt gave way in the middle for a sponsor and number, as was normal for American sports tops of that era.
The 1999 Home shirt, black and yellow with red accents, highlighted a historic year for the Battery. The club moved into the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States, Blackbaud Stadium. The club was eliminated in the 1st round of the A-League playoffs but made the semi-final of the US Open Cup and was led by Battery Legend Paul Conway’s 14 goals.
2000’s Home Battery kit featured ‘99’s Black Yellow and Red color scheme with a collar and thicker stripes. The club won the A-League Eastern Conference Atlantic Division behind 18 wins and as many goals from Paul Conway.
The 2003 home shirt featured a collar, thin stripes, and red patches with the sponsor Lotto’s insignia on the arms. The club won the 2003 A-League Title after a 1st place Southeast Division finish. Taking care of the Virginia Beach Mariners and Rochester Rhinos in the playoffs. Goals from Ted Chronopoulos, Paul Conway, and Steve Klein saw the Black and Yellow past the Minnesota Thunder to win their second league title with a team that also featured Dusty Hudock, Josh Henderson, and Irish World Cup veteran Terry Phelan.
While it would most likely take a league-wide decision to implement any sort of retro collection for the 2021 season, we hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as we wait for the new season.
If you had the choice, which retro shirt would you like to see re-imagined as an alternate jersey for the Battery?
TOP IMAGE: THE 2003 BATTERY TEAM CELEBRATES IN THE A-LEAGUE FINAL. MIKE BUYTAS PHOTO