Americans will be fighting an American Soccer Revolution as the Battery plays host to the Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League (EPL) on July 17. This will mark the first time Charleston has played a Barclay’s EPL team, though they have hosted other international squads in the past.
Although The Wanderers ended their season in the bottom half of the league, they did finish on a high note, with a victory over Birmingham City. Additionally, this season marked their tenth straight in the EPL, which is itself an accomplishment. For those unfamiliar with the EPL, at the end of each season the three teams that finish at the bottom of the table get relegated to the English League Championship, and the three top finishers from the Championship get a call-up to the big league. Regardless of what spot they finished, Bolton’s squad, who compete on a weekly basis with some of the best players in the world, will offer a tough test for the Battery.
One of Bolton's players who American fans are most familiar with is midfielder Stuart Holden, formerly of the Houston Dynamo. Holden, who was named to the preliminary American World Cup, played at Blackbaud during his days with the Dynamo and has enjoyed a relatively successful season with Bolton since transferring there in January. Although Holden missed some time throughout March and April with a fractured shin, he made regular appearances when healthy and recovered in time to appear as a substitute in Bolton’s season-ending victory.