Conor Casey‘s first week as Charleston Battery boss has been an eventful one, as the Black and Yellow announced nine returning players from 2021 and continue to build a roster made of experienced, successful USL players to embark on the new season together.
Among the returning players is goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky, fresh off of his third successive Fans’ Choice save of the year, Leland Archer, who wore the captain’s armband on more than a few occasions last year and has established himself as a leader in the Battery dressing room. AJ Paterson will also be donning the Black and Yellow again and is another leader who has returned. Patrick Hogan will hope that his second year in Charleston will be an improvement on what saw him show signs of a solid defender in his rookie season as he also suffered from inexperience as well. Wingers DZ Harmon and Burke Fahling, who were part of some of the Battery’s best attacking outputs last year, Geobel Perez, who has shown bright spots in his fledgling career, while the speedy Nicque Daley will return up front alongside Claudio Repetto, who was a massive part of the Battery’s forward line last campaign.
Casey’s first signing as boss was Matt Sheldon, who spent the last two years with FC Tulsa, and can play as a right-back or right-winger. In addition to stints in Orange County and St. Louis, Sheldon has also played in Germany for SG Kizenbach and in New Zealand for Waterside Karori.
Preston Kilwien comes to the Black and Yellow having spent the 2021 season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, having notched 30 appearances in Pittsburgh’s back-line after spending two years on the books at the New York Red Bulls II. Kilwien has also spent time in the academies of the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Seattle Sounders.
Andrew Booth makes the step up to the Battery from USL League One side Greenville Triumph. The 24-year-old Jamaican made 34 appearances for Triumph, used mostly as a midfielder but can operate anywhere across the midfield four. He scored three goals in Green and Blue last campaign, where his eye for a pass and crossing ability was on display.
The newest signing to date is 2020 USL Championship title winner Aidan Apodaca. Originally drafted by Philadelphia Union in MLS, he then joined Bethlehem Steel in 2018 before playing in Reno for two years before moving to El Paso. The Locomotive sent him on loan to Orange County SC, where he featured 15 times in their championship season.
While the new names keep coming in for the Battery, fans seem to be excited about the new direction of the club, There promises to be more new faces in Black and Yellow between now and the start of the campaign, Conor Casey’s first as Charleston Battery manager, so keep your eyes peeled for more developments.