The Week That Was
Another busy week for Charleston concluded with a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium against the Charlotte Independence. But earlier in the week, The Battery defeated Miami United FC 1-0 to advance in the US Open Cup. After 40 minutes of scoreless, but aggressive action, the Battery broke through with a goal from Heviel Cordoves. Assisting on the play was Houston Dynamo loanee Memo Rodriguez. The teams exchanged chances and Miami gained a distinct advantage late when Cordoves was shown a red card in the 83rd minute. Thankfully, Miami was unable to capitalize and the Battery moved forward in the nation's longest running soccer tournament.
Saturday's scoring against Charlotte started a bit quicker. In the 13th minute, Dane Kelly was able to control a long throw in and bounce one in towards the near post. However, this match, the Battery couldn't sustain the 1-0 lead and conceded a penalty kick in the 20th minute that was put home by Jorge Herrera. The score remained unchanged the rest of the match, despite countless chances for both sides.
The Good Guys: Charleston Battery (5-1-4)
With the frequency of matches this month, the lineup has been juggled brilliantly by Coach Mike Anhaeuser. Austin Savage has made his first start, as well as Kevin Corby, who's made two. Speaking of Corby, the GK decisions this week will be interesting as Odisnel Cooper started the Miami match but was a late injury scratch against Charlotte. The club will be without Zach Prince on Saturday, as he is suspended for the next USL match. Making his first USL Team of the Week this week was Emmanuel Adjetey. "Steady Jetey" was a part of a strong defensive unit that only allowed a penalty kick against Charlotte on Saturday. Dane Kelly, the club's leading scorer, made the team as a reserve.
The Bad Guys: Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, Wilmington FC (1-5-3)
The Ft Lauderdale Strikers are a member of the NASL and are entering the US Open Cup in the 3rd round. They have scored only 7 goals in 7 matches in league play this year with a 2-4-1 record, good for 9th of 11 teams. Without a heroic save from new partial owner and futbol legend Ronaldo, they have failed to live up to their league runner up finish from last year.
In a similar position, the Wilmington Hammerheads find themselves close to the bottom of the USL's Eastern Conference. Already with one loss to Charleston this season, the Hammerheads have not won a USL match since April 12th.
Both matches on paper should be victories for Charleston so they must play up to their potential and when they score a goal, bury their opponent rather than let them stay in the game.
The Dirty Details
Tonight at 7:30 at Blackbaud Stadium vs Ft. Lauderdale
Saturday at 7:30 at Blackbaud Stadium vs. Wilmington, watch live (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O04Zh4RRQFM)
The Hired Gun
Memo Rodriguez continued his impressive rookie season by adding another assist, this time to Heviel Cordoves against Miami United FC. Rodriguez all season has provided top notch effort, pressure and shown skill in his midfield role. Don't be surprised if Memo gets more starts coming up, especially during this rough stretch of a lot of games in not a lot of time.
The Charleston Family
Battery Supporters, QAR, The Regiment, and everyone in between, you guys are great. It's no guarantee, except at the highest professional levels, that people will support their team. Whether that's minor league baseball, D League basketball or the USL, some cities just don't come out to support. In my brief time covering the Battery, albeit from afar, I am blown away by the support. You guys love your team. People message me on Facebook or tweet me and thank me for my work, when in fact, I should be thanking them for being as great as they are. To everyone who supports the Battery, just be assured that the players love you, truly love you. Any time I talk to a member of the team, the fans are always one of the first things they mentioned, it means a lot to them. You have embraced them from all over, Cuba, Africa, Jamaican and everywhere else. Like Kevin Corby said, Blackbaud Stadium is the best place he's ever played soccer. You guys are all great and I truly thank you for supporting my coverage and embracing me as one of your own. Now that I am done with that sentimental rambling, make sure to get loud this week and help the club bring home two victories! OATMEAL POWER!