The Week That Was
The undefeated streak came to an end last week. In their match with FC Montreal, the Montreal Impact's USL affiliate, the Battery couldn't overcome their given circumstances. After leaving six healthy players back in Charleston, the ragtag unit Charleston put on the pitch was not able to find the net. With Houston Dynamo loanees GK Michael Lisch and defender AJ Cochran in the starting lineup, the defense played relatively well. Following a weak clearance by Lisch, his only gaffe in an otherwise superb outing, Louis Beland-Goyette, on loan from the Impact, found the net to break the tie. The usually leaky defensive unit for Montreal was able to keep the Battery in check most of the day and caused six offside calls, relenting few chances to the aggressive Charleston offense. The best, and last, chance for Charleston came in the last moments of stoppage time as the team's hottest scorer lately, Zach Prince, fired a shot wide of the goal as the clock wound down.
Charleston- 0 FC Montreal-1
In their second match of the week, and with much of their usual lineup back in action, the result was nearly identical to the one in New York. Following an early goal from the phenomenal Anatole Abang, the game remained 1-0 for almost the entire rest of the game. With reserve GK Kevin Corby making his debut due to Lisch taking Odisnel Cooper's traveling roster spot, he held strong against a relentless attack following the early goal. With the dynamic duo of Heviel Cordoves and Dane Kelly together up front, the Battery pressed for the equalizer. Amid a myriad of yellow cards directed towards the Battery players, they kept sending the ball towards the NYRB box searching for a goal. That didn't come until the 90th minute, when Charleston was awarded a heavily debated penalty kick after a cluster of players battled for a long ball into the New York Red Bulls penalty area. Justin Portillo stepped up to the spot and knocked the tying goal home. The Battery weren't done attacking as they battled to the last whistle as Maikel Chang's final attempt bounced off the pipe to seal a 1-1 draw.
Charleston- 1 NYRB2-1
Battery Goals: Portillo 90'(PK)
The Good Guys: Charleston Battery (5-1-3)
A sense of normalcy will return as the Battery take on Miami today as it's expected to be the return of Odisnel Cooper to the net. Without El Gato in front of the net, the Battery suffered their first loss and another draw this past week. All the rest of the United Nations of Charleston returned to action against NYRB. The only major injury remaining is Quinton Griffith, who is still recovering from knee surgery. No Battery players were named to the USL's Team of the Week for the first time this season other than the bye week. In other news, former Battery coach Chris Ramsey signed a three year deal to become the manager for the Queens Park Rangers.
The Bad Guys: Miami United FC, Charlotte Independence (2-3-2)
In their opening match of the US Open Cup, the Battery will host Miami United FC tonight at Blackbaud Stadium. Miami, of the NPSL, advanced in the national tournament by defeating PDL foe SW Florida Adrenaline 2-1 last week. The Miami club is one of crafty veterans and hard working young players trying to make their name known. They are a dangerous opponent in that way because they are playing to make some noise in this national tournament.
Saturday will feature a rematch with nearby foe Charlotte Independence, USL affiliate of the Colorado Rapids. In their first matchup, Charlotte's inaugural match, the Battery defeated the Independence in Charlotte 3-2. Cordoves scored two goals, and Ricky Garbanzo added the other. Starting this month 2-1, the Independence will try to continue their steadily improving play in their first season.
The Dirty Details
Tonight 7:30 vs Miami United FC at Blackbaud Stadium
Saturday May 23rd vs Charlotte Independence at Blackbaud Stadium
Watch it live HERE
The Hired Guns
Joining Memo Rodriguez on the roster both matches last week was AJ Cochran. He played a strong defensive week, especially not being familiar with the club. GK Michael Lisch only played against FC Montreal, allowing one goal but making more than a handful of saves in the 1-0 loss. Memo started against Montreal, but did not appear in the NYRB match. It's not known if or when, Lisch and Cochran will rejoin the Battery.
The Dancing Bear
In a previous article, I discussed a few of our Battery players visiting our future Battery star Joey Benton. In discussing the story with his wonderful mother Caroline, I found out that his favorite MLS player was Houston's own Will Bruin. Last week, the Dynamo sent a video to Joey, from his favorite Will Bruin. It was an absolutely classy thing to do by Bruin and judging by Joey's reaction in the video, a meaningful moment for a great kid. So hats off to Will Bruin, aka The Dancing Bear, for a job well done in making a kid's day and much more!