After a breakout 2019 season, Zeiko Lewis is back and ready to improve for Charleston Battery.
The offseason for Charleston Battery has been occupied with a rebrand for the historic USL Championship side. They have exciting new kits and wearing one of those new-look jerseys in 2020 will be one of their most exciting, returning players: forward Zeiko Lewis. “It was easy for me to come back,” Lewis told BGN. “I enjoyed myself last year, there’s a great group of guys, and the coaches believe in me and trust that I’ll get the job done. I just want to do my best to show them what I can do and perform to the best of ability.”
Describing the changes the Battery have experienced, Zeiko Lewis explained, “The club going through the rebrand has been exciting so far. I didn’t know what to expect coming in, but it’s a bit of transition from MUSC to the College of Charleston. but in terms of how the club is moving forward, it feels like we’re moving in the right direction.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding where the club’s future may lie last season, Charleston had a solid 2019 season and Zeiko Lewis was their star. He led the club in goals (8) and tied for a club-high in assists (5) and made magic with his left foot. They advanced to the play-in game in the Eastern Conference and defeated Ottawa Fury FC, with Zeiko scoring the first penalty kick in the shootout. In the next round, they lost to Nashville SC with another Zeiko Lewis shot from the spot being the lone goal. “I thought that the team overall had a good season last year. We had a lot of changes and things that were going on at the time, so I thought we managed well with what we had,” he recalled. “For me moving forward, I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win. Yeah, I’m here to score goals and create goals, but at the end of the day if I need to get back and defend, I’m going to do that, too.”
“Moving forward, I want to set my goals high. In terms of goals and assists, I want to improve my numbers significantly.”
Zeiko was born and raised hundreds of miles off the coast of South Carolina in Bermuda. He said, “Growing up in Bermuda was probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. My whole family is there, so I am really close with my family. A lot of my friends still live in Bermuda so when I got home, we always have a really good connection. The fact that the island is small, only 21 square miles, everyone knows everyone.” Zeiko explained that traditions are important to his native land. “Bermudans like to enjoy themselves. Every year, my family and I have big gatherings that bring everyone together,” he said.
He also gets the opportunity to play for the Gombey Warriors, Bermuda’s national team and has scored six goals on the international stage. “It’s unbelievable really. Every time you put on that jersey, you get a sense of pride,” he said. “It’s not just you representing yourself, or your family, or friends, it’s you representing the entire country.”
“Sometimes in sports, people don’t support you. But, in Bermuda, everybody gets behind us everybody supports us, everybody pushes us. If we’re not having the greatest time at that time, you will hear some jeering, but those same people will come up to you and say, ‘work harder, get better,’ and it’s just amazing to feel that and that everyone supports us.” Zeiko’s been playing for his national team since 2011, back when he turned professional.
During the 2020 USL Championship season, Zeiko Lewis will continue to use the lessons he took away from his 2018 season playing in Iceland. Talking about that season, he said, “I developed and honed in on the things that make me who I am as a player. I obviously worked on the stuff that I lacked. But, I really wanted to focus on who I am and being true to who I am is what’s going to help me be a better person and move forward in the right direction.” That direction will be running full speed and skillfully at defenses across the Eastern Conference. Zeiko and Charleston Battery will kick off their season on the road against ATL UTD 2 during opening weekend, Sunday, March 8th at 3:30 PM EST.