The Week That Was
Well...we didn't win. I know we all hoped for an undefeated season, but we also all knew it wouldn't happen. Saturday was the first non-win of the year for the Battery as they drew with NYRBII 1-1. Some low scoring contests are a bit of a bore and you're counting down the seconds till it's over, but this was not one of those games. A back and forth first half nearly ended scoreless before Houston Dynamo loanee Jose "Memo" Rodriguez, in his first start, found the back of the net with a great bending shot off a beautiful assist from Dane Kelly in stoppage time. The score would be knotted up on a free kick awarded after a yellow card to Ricky Garbanzo. An accurate pass by Sean Davis found Anatole Abang for a header in the 68th minute. A shot off the post by Kelly, a VERY questionable no call on a collision in the box resulting in Garbanzo nearly flipping over entirely, and it was still knotted up late. As stoppage time arrived in the second half, the Battery's attack kept trying to grab the lead and on the final touch of the match, Ricky Garbanzo's shot found the post solidifying the result of the match as a draw. So close, but so far right? To quote the great Mighty Ducks movie, a few inches and it would have gone in, but also a few inches and it would have missed the goal entirely. So be happy Charleston walks away with a point still unbeaten and the season moves on.
Charleston 1- NYRB 1
Battery Goals: Rodriguez (45+)
The Good Guys- Charleston Battery (3-0-1)
After taking only one point, the Battery now find themselves in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference behind the Rochester Rhinos, who have played one more match. In his second start of the season, Quinton Griffith represented the Battery on this week's USL Team of the Week. He filled in at his natural position of right wing for injured Navion Boyd, but also ended up falling back to fullback. The speedy captain of the Antigua and Barbuda was a much needed member of the attack Saturday providing pace and strong passes throughout the match. Taylor Mueller took the captain's sleeve from injured Jarad van Schaik and played well on the backline.
The Bad Guys- Wilmington Hammerheads FC (1-1-2)
The Hammerheads will enter Sunday's match refreshed after their bye week last week. Before that they notched their first victory of the season with a 3-0 match over New York Red Bulls 2. What offense we'll see from Wilmington will hinge significantly on what loanees they have from MLS affiliate New York City FC. They haven't showed much punch offensively without a strong NYCFC presence. Midfielder Nick Zimmerman has done most of the scoring for Wilmington with three goals already this campaign.
The Dirty Details
Sunday April 26th
3 pm. at Legion Stadium
Watch it live here.
The Hired Guns
It finally happened. A Dynamo loanee got a start for their USL pals. And even better, a Dynamo loanee found the net for the first Dynamo goal for Charleston this season. Both of those accolades fall to the Houston Homegrown product they call Memo. Memo Rodriguez got his first start against NYRBII after being a late sub all season. He had shown skill in pressuring the ball and tight passing in the midfield. He was the first player to score for either team Saturday as he found the net off an assist from Dane Kelly in first half stoppage time. Rodriguez has been very impressive so far in his Battery appearances and will continue to improve as he becomes more comfortable at this level. Oumar Ballo is still waiting for his chance to join Memo on the pitch for Charleston.
The Battery Brewski
A contingent of Battery personnel visited with members of local brewery Frothy Beard to discuss a Battery themed beer. Apparently the meeting went so well, the team's so good and Battery supporters love beer enough, that it now seems at least TWO Battery themed beers are in the works. A tease via the Battery official Facebook page,says the first one may be a blonde beer. The Austin Savage Stout perhaps? Vote in the poll below for your favorite name for a Battery beer. Most of the options are from my own beautiful mind and a couple others I've seen circulating. Add your own ideas in the comments section and chug on Charleston!