The Week That Was
Simply put, the Charleston Battery were banged up heading into Sunday's match at Wilmington. Good news on two fronts, no major injuries occurred during the game and they were victorious despite missing starters Quinton Griffith, Justin Portillo, Navion Boyd and leading scorer Heviel Cordoves. They got a very eye catching goal in the 24th minute from Zach Prince on an assist by - you guessed it, Maikel Chang. Prince fired a shot into the upper 90 putting the Battery up 1-0. A few short minutes later, Jose Rodriguez, who entered in the 21st minute as a sub, stole the ball from a Wilmington defender on the boundary, fired a pass in front of the net to an unmarked Maikel Chang. Chang shot the ball easily into the net to stretch the Battery lead to 2-0 before the half. Ashani Fairclough, a Wilmington sub, spoiled a clean sheet opportunity for Odisnel Cooper in the 59th minute when he tapped a ball in. Coach Mike Anhaeuser used all of his remaining healthy players late, including former Clemson star Austin Savage who tested the defense multiple times in his time on the pitch.
Charleston Battery 2-1 Wilmington Hammerheads FC
Battery Goals: Prince 24', Chang 26'
The Good Guys- Charleston Battery (4-0-1)
Maikel Chang found the net for the first time this campaign, after adding an assist earlier on the goal by Prince. He also found the USL Team of the Week for his performance. 2015 has been a huge breakout season for the Cuban midfielder who has shown great passing and control of the ball for the unbeaten Charleston Battery. Quinton Griffith had surgery on his knee injury this week and there's no timetable for his return just yet. Captain Jarad van Schaik returned wearing the sleeve for Charleston this week.
The Bad Guys- Richmond Kickers (4-0-2)
The D.C. United affiliate Kickers co-hold an Eastern Conference lead with 14 points, one more than the Battery's 13. They are co-led in scoring by George Davis IV and Matthew Delicate, who scored their lone goal in last week's win over Montreal. Former Houston Dynamo player Brian Ownby leads the team with 3 assists. Richmond has started 3 different players in goal this season. All three keepers have had at least one clean sheet so far this season. Ownby and Hugh Roberts represented the Kickers on the USL TotW
The Dirty Details
Saturday May 2nd at City Stadium 7pm
Watch it live here
The Hired Gun(s)
It was another great week for Houston Dynamo loanee Jose "Memo" Rodriguez. After subbing in at defensive mid in the 21st minute, he applied constant pressure on the ball. That paid off when he forced a turnover right along the end line, possessed the ball, and fired it in front to Maikel Chang for his first professional assist. As Memo continues to establish his standing with the club, the other Dynamo loanee Oumar Ballo's status is very uncertain. Late last week, Ballo was released by the Houston Dynamo, who cited a roster change was needed and wished Oumar the best. He still trained with the Battery after the release but could not dress for the match, as he did not have a contract. Where Oumar ends up should be determined quickly and I will keep you posted. I'm still a huge supporter of Ballo and his supreme athleticism and hope somehow he ends up sticking with Charleston in some capacity.
The Fight of the Decade
So after most of America watches the Battery game, they will tune in to Floyd Mayweather Jr's mega-bout against Manny Pacquiao. While the Battery vs. Richmond match is a battle for Eastern Conference supremacy, the viewership may be a bit higher for the bout. It's a nation divided, and also a Battery locker room divided as some players including Maikel Chang root for the PacMan, others including Navion Boyd are pulling for Money Mayweather. So tune in to both sporting events and hope the only athlete knocked out Saturday night is one of the two boxers.