Battery score late to top Hammerheads, claim USL Pro Championship

090812 Champions

photo courtesy of USL Pro

By FRANCO PANIZO

For the second time in three years, the Charleston Battery are the USL Pro champions.

The Battery ended their dream playoff run on by grabbing a 1-0 victory over the Wilmington Hammerheads in the USL Pro Championship at Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday night, giving Charleston their second title since 2010 and fourth overall.

Jose Cuevas, the game MVP and this season's rookie of the Year, created the lone goal for the Battery in front of a home crowd of 4,963 in the 74th minute. Cuevas hit a pass through the Hammerheads defense that Mike Azira finished with a one-timed, left-footed shot past Wilmington goalkeeper Alex Horwath.

The Hammerheads entered the game having put forth a strong offensive performance in an upset win over favorites and defending champions Orlando City, but they could not replicate that type of outing in the final. Wilmington only managed five shots in the match and none of them came from in-form striker Corey Hertzog.

While the USL Pro champions were crowned on Saturday, the season awards winners were announced Friday. Here are the five winners, as voted on by league coaches and managers: 

Most Valuable Player – Kevin Molino, Orlando City

Rookie of the Year – Jose Cuevas, Charleston Battery

Coach of the Year – Adrian Heath, Orlando City

Defender of the Year – Troy Roberts, Rochester Rhinos

Goalkeeper of the Year – Kristian Nicht, Rochester Rhinos

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What do you think of the Battery winning the USL Pro Championship? Surprised Wilmington was held scoreless? Agree with the winners of the season awards? How do you look back on this USL Pro season?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to Battery score late to top Hammerheads, claim USL Pro Championship

  1. g-loff says:

    It was a great game, Charleston really hurt Wilmington on the counter.

  2. fischy says:

    Good on Dykstra. I hope he gets a chance to play next year with United.

  3. Yadaki96 says:

    Wow less than 5,000 people for the Championship game, thats sad.

  4. g-loff says:

    The stadium only seats about 5,000.

  5. jayboy says:

    Potentially stupid question… but is there a structure to help get the best players for NASL and USL-Pro up to MLS? Do they have any type of annual combine or showcase for MLS scouts, or is it more just up to MLS teams to pick up players individually?

  6. DCLee says:

    MLS teams are constantly scouting the lower leagues. and there are combines, I believe around the SuperDraft that they invite lower league players to.

  7. DCLee says:

    Congrats to the Battery!

  8. Tommyc says:

    Great season Hammerheads!!