CHARLESTON, SC July 15, 2014 – Jose “Chiva” Cuevas — the PDL prospect from California who earned league Rookie of the Year honors and was named MVP of the USL PRO Championship Game in 2012 — has returned to Charleston for the remainder of the 2014 season, pending US Soccer approval.
“Getting Jose back gives us a good option,” said Battery Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “He’s scored goals for us. He can put the ball in the back of the net.
“But the other thing that people don’t see is that he can get the assist. He gets good balls in from free kicks and the run of play. And that’s something we’ve maybe been missing throughout the beginning of the season. We hope he can expand on that and give us a little extra punch here as we push for the playoffs.”
Cuevas came close to cracking the Battery roster in 2011, but returned to PDL ‘s Fresno Fuego for an additional season. Anhaeuser signed Cuevas in early 2012, and he made an immediate impression on April 7 with two goals against the Richmond Kickers in his first league appearance. Cuevas quickly established himself as one of the league’s most creative attackers, and capped his first season by assisting Mike Azira on the lone goal in the Battery’s Championship win over Wilmington.
His 2013 preseason picked up where he’d left off in 2012, but Cuevas was injured in the regular-season opener and didn’t fully return to form until late summer, when he helped lift the Battery to the third seed in the playoffs. He received credit for an assist in the Battery’s 3-2 loss at Orlando in the USL PRO semi-final.
Cuevas and the Battery were unable to reach an agreement last fall to bring him back for the 2014 season, and Cuevas returned to Farmersville, Calif., where he coached at his former high school and rejoined the Fuego. He currently leads PDL in assists with seven in 11 appearances.
“It’s a lot of emotions I can’t even explain,” the 25-year-old Cuevas said Tuesday afternoon just minutes after joining the team. “I’m glad to see the guys, they’ve given me a warm welcome, and it’s good to be back.”