The participants for next year's edition of the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup were announced on Friday, and they include a new face: the Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders will join D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo and hosts Charleston Battery of USL PRO in the 11th edition of the week-long, round-robin tournament, which is set to run from Feb. 22-March 1, 2014.
Seattle's participation will feature the fun twist of the return of Clint Dempsey to South Carolina — the US national team captain spent his college years at Furman University in Greenville, about 220 miles northwest of Charleston. Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark is also a Furman product, and teammate Warren Creavalle began his collegiate career there.
D.C. United will return to the Carolina Challenge Cup for the seventh time. They have won the tournament in each of the last three years. Houston return for a fourth go in the CCC — they won the title in 2006 and '07, following up on a 2005 championship as the San Jose Earthquakes, and Houston and returned to Blackbaud Stadium in preseason last year.
The Carolina Challenge Cup has been held every year since 2004 and serves as a prime preseason tune-up for MLS squads. Chicago, Columbus, San Jose, New York, Real Salt Lake and Vancouver have participated in previous editions.
Individual and group tickets for the 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup will go on sale to the general public on Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 am ET. For more information, call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.