After a long, lonely winter, Blackbaud Stadium welcomed soccer fans on Saturday for the double-header opener of the Carolina Challenge Cup.
Real Salt Lake and D.C. United seemed to match up well in the first game, until a first half red card gave Salt Lake the advantage. RSL kept the momentum going with three unmatched goals in the second half. Playing two men down by the end of the game, and lacking two others due to injuries, DCU didn’t stand a chance. The crowd’s excitement (and trash-talking) went up a few notches for the second match of the night as Toronto F.C. took on local boys the Charleston Battery. A red sea of intense Toronto fans took over a section of the bleachers, complete with banners, huge flags, and one dude in a Mountie outfit. Battery fans were no doubt amused, especially when “King David” (we’re not sure who or where he was) sang a painfully tone-deaf rendition of the Canadian national anthem. Toronto F.C. took an early lead in the second minute, when a Battery defender fumbled and the ball fell into the lap of a TFC midfielder. Local fans’ hopes were restored a few minutes later when the Battery’s Tyler Hemming drained a penalty kick past the TFC goalie. But despite the eviction of a TFC player, a goal in the 83rd minute saw the Battery losing 2-1. Go check out the remaining CCC matches this Wed. March 11 and Sat. March 14 at 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.