Atlanta United vs. Charleston Battery abandoned due to poor field conditions

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May 19, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer reacts after his team was defeated by the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)


May 19, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer reacts after his team was defeated by the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Atlanta United’s U.S. Open Cup fourth-round game at the Charleston Battery was abandoned Tuesday night. U.S. Soccer’s match commissioner called off the game, scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. at MUSC Health Stadium, due to poor field conditions and a rainy forecast.

Update: About an hour after players left the field, Battery president Mike Kelleher said he expected the game to be played Wednesday at the College of Charleston’s Soccer Stadium at Patriot’s Point. That will not happen. Atlanta United is departing Charleston Wednesday, according to a club official. The game’s makeup date was not finalized as of 8:45 a.m. ET. Battery officials said a decision will be made by noon Wednesday.

“The Charleston Battery immediately reached out to alternative venues in the area exploring the possibilities of playing the match within 24 hours,” reads a statement from 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. “Unfortunately, and in addition to deteriorating weather conditions in the Charleston area, this option was not possible. We will update with further news on the game after consultation with U.S. Soccer.”

The Charleston Post-Courier’s Andrew Murray reported Tuesday night the game the Battery hope to host the game next Monday or Tuesday at either MUSC Health Stadium or Patriot’s Point. Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga., also is a possibility, per Murray. Fifth Third is the home of Atlanta United 2 and has hosted Atlanta United U.S. Open Cup games and Concacaf Champions League games in the past.

The Battery are scheduled to play a USL Championship game at the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Atlanta United’s next Major League Soccer game is June 26 at Toronto FC. The U.S. Open Cup round-of-16 draw is this Thursday, June 13. Round-of-16 games will be played the week of June 18 to June 23.

Heavy rains doused Charleston in recent days, and several sandy spots littered the grass surface at MUSC Health Stadium Tuesday. About an hour before the scheduled start time, Atlanta manager Frank de Boer kicked a ball around with an assistant to get a read on the surface. Match officials and both coaching staffs engaged in lengthy conversations while walking the field.

According to the U.S. Open Cup abandonment guidelines: “If a match is cancelled because of weather or an act of God, the match must be rescheduled for the next day unless mitigating circumstances prevent this. In the event that the game cannot be rescheduled for the next day and the teams involved cannot within 24 hours of cancellation reach agreement on a new match date that is within seven days of the originally scheduled date, the comissioner will set the date.”

Atlanta United officials did not comment on the decision to abandon. De Boer was not made available to media.

Prior to the abandonment, Atlanta and Charleston released starting lineups. The teams can make lineup changes prior to the makeup date. 

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