With a 3-1 victory over Chivas USA of Major League Soccer in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, the Charleston Battery became the first USL team to advance to the Quarterfinals three years in a row. The main reason they were able to do that was Randi Patterson, who scored two goals in the match, and for his efforts, he has been voted as TheCup.us Player of the Round.
In a more decisive vote than the previous two rounds, Patterson beat out the Houston Dynamo’s Corey Ashe (1 goal, 1 assist in 2-0 win at Austin Aztex), and the Wilmington duo of goalkeeper Daryl Sattler and last round’s top player, Kenny Bundy, who helped the Hammerheads beat the Chicago Fire 1-0.
The Player of the Round is selected by the staff of TheCup.us and members of the North American Soccer Reporters, a group that consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information about the NASR can be found at www.soccerreporters.com (Note: A new website is in the works).
The former UNC-Greensboro star took time to talk to TheCup.us about his Open Cup experience and the difference between playing in MLS and the USL.
TheCup.us: With your great start to this year’s tournament and your appearance in the final last year, not to mention your form in league play, your club’s confidence must be at an all-time high right now.
Patterson: We have been playing very well this season we had a rough start in the beginning [with] scoring goals but we finally picked that up. Our defense has been excellent; without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.
TheCup.us: Tell us about the Third Round match against Chivas USA and the two goals that you scored.
Patterson: The Chivas game was really intense. They are a great team and to be honest they had most of the possession throught the game but we finished our chances. The first goal I scored I knew Kenji [Treschuk] had a long throw-in so I made sure I was on the back post to clean up anything that came through. The second goal was because of an excellent pass by [Darren] Spicer which gave me space to take a shot.
TheCup.us: You’ve had some Open Cup experience prior to turning pro when you were with the Carolina Dynamo in the PDL. You had a tremendous run through the tournament (defeating the Seattle Sounders along the way), advancing all the way to the Fourth Round. What was that experience like?
Patterson: It was a great experience during the PDL season playing in the Open Cup. We had a great team that year and it showed advancing that far. It was a great opportunity to show what we could do before the MLS draft took place.
TheCup.us: In the Fourth Round that year, your Carolina Dynamo faced the Houston Dynamo. What was the team/organization’s reaction when Houston chose a team name that you guys already had?
Patterson: [Laughter] It was kind of weird that an MLS team chose the name that we had. I heard some other things about that situation but I can’t go into that.
TheCup.us: You spent some time with the New York Red Bulls, but later moved on to Charleston. What has been the difference between the two places and how has your experience been in Charleston? What have been the differences between MLS and USL-1?
Patterson: The difference is that playing near New York City was that you always had something to do. I lived in Teaneck [New Jersey] all my life which is 10 minutes from New York City so there was always something for me to do. In Charleston, it’s a nice place but it’s not like New York City. Charleston has the beach and the downtown area which is beautiful and also the people are really nice. There isn’t a big difference [on the field] just maybe the speed of play. Obviously it’s a lot faster in MLS but other than that I don’t see a difference.