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Charleston adds two for 2010
Zaher joins Battery from Earthquakes

Charleston Battery News Release -

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CHARLESTON, SC -- The Charleston Battery has agreed to terms with defender Mike Zaher and midfielder Jon Gruenewald following strong performances in the recent Carolina Challenge Cup. Zaher played for Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes in the 2009 season; Gruenewald comes to the Battery for his rookie professional season.

Gruenewald and Zaher played in recent CCC (Vin Duffy)A native of Las Vegas, NV, Zaher joins the Battery from the San Jose Earthquakes where he played 10 games in 2009. Zaher was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 MLS Superdraft by Canadian Major League Soccer side Toronto FC. However, his rights were traded to D.C. United for an undisclosed pick.

Head Coach Michael Anhaeuser commented “Mike brings us a quality left back who has been with San Jose and DC United the past two seasons. We look forward to him bringing his qualities and leadership to the left side of the field.”

The former MLS player previously played three seasons in the PDL. It was a short move to the Earthquakes for Zaher as he spent the 2006-07 seasons with San Fernando Valley. He also played for Boulder in 2005.

Zaher 5-10, 160 lbs., 25 yrs., played college soccer at UCLA, where he majored in political science. He played in 38 games over three seasons, scoring twice in the run-up to the 2006 NCAA soccer championship game in St. Louis, which UCLA lost 2-1 to UC Santa Barbara. Zaher is a former member of the U.S. U-18 National Team.

Midfielder Jon Gruenewald joins the Battery for his rookie pro season after impressing in the recent Carolina Challenge Cup matches. Gruenewald was invited into camp after participating in the USL Player Showcase held at Blackbaud Stadium in February. He previously played the past two seasons withthe Central Florida Kraze in the PDL, registering four goals and four assists.

Coach Anhaeuser stated “We were fortunate to find Jon at the USL Combine in February. He showed his abilities at this combine that impressed the coaching staff and others and has carried out these qualities during the Carolina Challenge Cup and in training. We look forward to having Jon help us on both wings this season as he a dangerous attacking player.”

A native of Manlius, NY, Gruenewald, 5-10, 155 lbs., 23 yrs., played his college soccer at Rollins College.

Battery in Cooper River Bridge Run
The Charleston Battery players will participate in the Cooper River Bridge Run this Saturday, March 27 at 8 AM as part of their continuing preparations for the 2010 USL season. The annual 10-K race is one of the largest in the US with just over 38,000 runners registered. Following the run the players will head to the Buccaneer Restaurant for a post-race breakfast and to watch the morning’s English Premier League games.

The Cooper River Bridge Run begins in Mount Pleasant crosses the Cooper River to Charleston and finishes at Marion Square, in 2009 the race was won by 20 yr old Ethiopian Regassa Tiluhan in a time of 28 minutes and 24 seconds. The race has been run annually in Charleston since 1978. Charleston Battery President, Andrew Bell will be providing play-by-play coverage of the race for ESPN Radio 910 the Team.

The post race celebration at the Buccaneer Restaurant will begin at 10 AM, the Buccaneer is located at 5 Faber Street, downtown Charleston; for directions or more information please call 843-805-5065.

Battery set for preseason schedule
The Charleston Battery heads to Cary, NC Wednesday for a 4 PM preseason match versus the Montreal Impact. Battery midfielder Rudolph Mayard is on a season-long loan from Montreal to Charleston; the Impact knocked the Battery out of the USL1 playoffs in 2009.

Charleston Battery Pre-Season Schedule
3/24 - Montreal Impact - Cary, NC - 4:00 PM
3/31 - Coastal Carolina - Blackbaud Stadium - 5:00 PM
4/3 - Carolina Railhawks - Blackbaud Stadium - 5:00 PM
4/7 - Clemson University - Clemson, SC - 5:00 PM
4/10 - College of Charleston - Patriots Point - 11:00 AM
Game subject to change.

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