Crew commits to 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup

D.C. United, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew and Charleston Battery to contest tournament

Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew has committed to compete in the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup.  Columbus will join Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, Chicago Fire and USL PRO’s Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium, Daniel Island Feb 25 – March 4, 2012.  This is the ninth consecutive year that the Charleston Battery has hosted the Carolina Challenge Cup.

PURCHASE TICKETS

The Columbus Crew played and won the inaugural Carolina Challenge Cup tournament back in 2004 defeating USL’s Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads and tying with D.C. United. Columbus returned in 2005 but finished third behind the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United.

Columbus is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inception in 1996. The Crew has won five major trophies: MLS Cup 2008, the 2004, 2008 and 2009 Supporters' Shields, and the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The Crew is led by head coach Robert Warzycha who played seven seasons with Columbus, retiring as the Crew's all-time assist leader.  Columbus’s roster includes former Charleston Battery forward, Tom Heinemann.

The Carolina Challenge Cup is the premier pre-season tournament in the US.  Each year the Battery is joined by three teams from Major League Soccer for the round-robin competition.  Beginning in 2011 the tournament also featured a youth element as the MLS teams brought their USSF Academy sides to Charleston for a parallel USSF Academy tournament.

Full tournament schedule for the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup will be announced in the coming weeks, tickets will go on sale November 29.  For more information please call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.

All-Time Participants (Champions bolded)
2004: Charleston Battery (USL), Columbus Crew (MLS), D.C. United (MLS), Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
2005: Charleston Battery (USL), Columbus Crew (MLS), D.C. United (MLS), SJ Earthquakes (MLS)
2006: Charleston Battery (USL), NY Red Bulls (MLS), D.C. United (MLS), Houston Dynamo (MLS)
2007: Charleston Battery (USL), NY Red Bulls (MLS), Houston Dynamo (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS)
2008: Charleston Battery (USL), NY Red Bulls (MLS), SJ Earthquakes (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS)
2009: Charleston Battery (USL), D.C. United (MLS), Real Salt Lake (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS)
2010: Charleston Battery (USL), D.C. United (MLS), Real Salt Lake (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS)
2011: Charleston Battery (USL), Chicago Fire (MLS), D.C. United (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS)
2012: Charleston Battery (USL), Chicago Fire (MLS), D.C. United (MLS), Columbus Crew (MLS)