Ataullah Guerra and Neveal Hackshaw join USL club Charleston Battery

Ataullah Guerra celebrates a goal for Central FC during the 2014/15 Pro League season.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Charleston Battery today announced the signing of Trinidad and Tobago internationals Ataullah Guerra and Neveal Hackshaw for the 2016 United Soccer League (USL) season, pending ITC approval.

Guerra, 28, of Central FC and Hackshaw, 20, of North East Stars are among 13 new signings made by Charleston, who kicks off their 2016 USL campaign against newcomers FC Cincinnati on March 26.

Guerra and Hackshaw have been on trials with the United States third tier soccer league side since a February International Camp, and according to Charleston Battery, were immediate standouts. Guerra, scorer of the match-winner in Wednesday night’s 2-0 victory over the USC Gamecocks in Columbia, had departed Charleston briefly during his trial period to attend to personal business in Trinidad, according to the club.
Neveal Hackshaw (right) during action for the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 team against the United States U20s in 2015.
“He (Hackshaw) came available to us and we really jumped on it right away, particularly when Jarad (former Battery midfielder Jarad van Schaik) was saying he might not come back,” said Battery’s general manager and head coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We had to be looking for that position. He’s been in now for several weeks, and he’s been showing that, even for a young player, he’s got a lot of potential and a big upside.

“Hackshaw and van Schaik are [kind of] similar. Both left-footed. Has a good engine. Van Schaik’s (strength) is probably his ability to get around the pitch, but Neveal is very strong and very good with the ball, so he might have a little more ability with holding players off. You don’t want to compare a player, or put pressure on him, but Hackshaw [kind of] fills the mould, and that’s why I was interested in getting him.

“(If he had stayed in Trinidad) he probably would have moved to one of the bigger clubs, and he’s moving here for that reason: To try to grow and become a better player, and maybe take it to the next level: MLS or maybe Europe or wherever.”

As for Guerra, Anhaeuser said the former San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC Pro League winner is “a versatile player with a ton of quality and experience” and described his personality as ultra-competitive, this according to the Battery official website.

“He wants to do well,” Anhaeuser is quoted as saying. “He wants the team to do well. He gets on the players, he gets on himself. But he does it in a good way, because he wants to succeed. He gets upset if he misses a pass that he knows he should have hit. He wants guys to get it in to him. And that’s what guys with experience and that edge bring to the table. We have a lot of players like that. And he seems to have a bit of character, too — a fun character, which makes it enjoyable.”

Guerra, who had a stint in Finland with Rovaniemen Palloseura (RoPS), which won the Finnish Cup with him in 2013, described his playing style to as “very athletic, like to be on the ball and want to do well all the time. I want to win games, and I came here to win as many trophies as I could.”

Guerra also sees signing with the Battery as an opportunity to once again advance up the soccer pyramid.