March 3, 2011 - United Soccer League (USL) - Charleston Battery
Charleston, SC. Reversing his retirement decision after winning the USL championship with the Charleston Battery in 2010, veteran defender and Seneca, SC native John Wilson has decided to return to the playing field with the Charleston Battery for the 2011 USL PRO season. Wilson announced his decision on Wednesday evening at the Charleston Battery's annual season ticket holder pre-season party at the Three Lions Club, Blackbaud Stadium.
Charleston Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser commented "John Wilson has been a tremendous defender for the Charleston Battery for many years and it is wonderful to have him back for one more season. John brings a wealth of experience both on and off the field. We will expect him to utilize this experience to stabilize the defense and the younger players on the team."
John Wilson played 15 games for the Battery in 2010 anchoring the defense as Charleston won its third USL championship. His career Charleston Battery totals includes 181 games (third all-time), 16,221 minutes, 1 goal and 9 assists.
A native of Seneca, SC, Wilson began his pro career with the Charleston Battery in 1999. After an outstanding rookie season Wilson joined Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards in 2000. Wilson returned to the Battery in 2001 and spent three seasons with the club including 2003 when he was a member of the Championship winning team.
In 2004 Wilson moved to the Rochester Rhinos then a year later was signed by Major League Soccer's D.C. United. After three years with D.C. United Wilson rejoined the Battery before the start of the 2008 season.
Wilson, 5-9, 170 lbs., 33 yrs., had an outstanding college career at Clemson University and was named All-ACC in 1997 and 1998. He played in 57 matches for the Tigers, scored 18 goals and added 35 assists in his career. Wilson helped Clemson to an ACC Championship, #1 national ranking and Final Eight NCAA finish in 1998.
John Wilson commented "I realized after some time away from the game and also days spent running through downtown and playing in a few pick up games, that playing was still in my system. Many of my friends, family, and ex teammates all said the same thing, If there is something you love to do, do it as long as you can."
Lamar Neagle signs with MLS's Seattle Sounders
2010 USL MVP Lamar Neagle has signed with Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders. Neagle scored 14 goals in 17 games started for the Battery on his way to MVP honors last season. Neagle becomes the second Charleston Battery player to sign with MLS; forward Tom Heinemann joined the Columbus Crew in January.
Charleston Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser stated "Lamar Naegle is a great example of a player that has come in and done tremendously well and is now getting the opportunity to play in the MLS. As a coach you hate to lose players to another team but for the players growth it is something that you love to see. I wish Lamar the best in Seattle as he deserves to make the move up as does every player that performs well."
A Tacoma, WA native Neagle originally signed with Seattle for the 2009 season but did not feature in any league matches.
Carolina Challenge Cup tickets
Tickets for the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup featuring Major League Soccer are on sale now with prices frozen at 2010 levels. The USL Champion Charleston Battery will be joined by Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire, D.C. United & Toronto FC for the week-long tournament, March 5 - 12, 2011. To purchase tickets visit www.charlestonbattery.com or call (843) 971-GOAL (4625).