The Charleston Battery's new owner Rob Salvatore is optimistic the team will return to action this season as it prepares to enter a new era at the Patriots Point Soccer Complex.
CHARLESTON, S.C. – There’s no question that Charleston Battery owner Rob Salvatore would love his side to currently be in action and entertaining fans at its new home, the Patriots Point Soccer Complex.
But with the USL Championship season still waiting for the chance to return to action, the club has taken opportunity to see what can be done at their home venue now that might previously have been placed on hold until next offseason.
“As frustrating as this is and as bad as it has been for everyone, I like the fact that we’ve had time to step back and assess what we want to do with the facility,” Salvatore told the Charleston Post & Courier’s Andrew Miller. “We’ve talked about what adjustments we can make to the property. This has given us time to think about things. There were things we thought about doing in the second phase, in the second year, that we might be able to do now with the extra time we have. I see that as a fortunate part of these circumstances.”
As with most sports organizations around the United States – and the rest of the world, currently – the Battery are looking to make the best of the situation the COVID-19 pandemic has placed them in. Entering his first year as the club’s owner, Salvatore is looking to put his imprint on one of the historic clubs in the United States that will stand it in good stead for the long term.
For the club’s players, currently training in isolation and staying connected through Zoom calls and regular conversation with Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser, the challenge is to stay prepared for when the time comes to reconvene for group training, in whatever form that takes. With the bond Salvatore has made already with the squad, his biggest disappointment currently is that they’re not getting the chance to show what they can do for the fans.
“The hardest part, the most frustrating part about everything is that the players can’t get back on the field,” Salvatore told Miller. “I feel a very strong connection with the team and the players. I really like our staff and the group of guys we have. I have no basis for comparison, but I feel very connected to these guys.
“They are in the middle of their careers and they’ve come together and now they can’t go out and prove they are a great team. Having watched them against Atlanta and getting the three points was an exhilarating experience for everyone. It makes you want more.”
The Charleston Battery's new home venue at Patriots Point could get some additional adjustments as the club waits to return to action in the 2020 USL Championship Season. | Photo courtesy Charleston Battery
There’s little doubt in Salvatore’s mind, however, that we will get to see the Battery – and all of the other teams in the Championship – in action again in 2020.
“I think we will play again,” Salvatore told Miller. “I believe in the ingenuity of our society. I’m hopeful that we’ll see more testing and therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 and maybe a pathway to a vaccine. Businesses will figure out how to operate under those conditions. I’m going to believe in our ability as a society to figure this out because, let’s be honest, we have to believe it.”