The Week That Was
It almost felt weird with only one Battery match last week, and none on the weekend. The Charleston club hosted Richmond last Wednesday and got stuck with a draw against a very game Kickers club. The DC United affiliate was able to equalize right before the half and cut the momentum Charleston might have had heading to the locker room up 1. The Battery goal was scored off a set piece as Shawn Ferguson controlled the ball firing it on net, followed by Ricky Garbanzo redirecting it straight into the net. Samuel Asante knotted it up in the 44th minute as he coasted through the defense firing a low shot past "El Gato" Odisnel Cooper. The match was the second draw of the series this year, with each team drawing on the other's home turf.
The Good Guys: Charleston Battery (6-1-6)
The Battery were represented this week on the USL's Team Of The Week by Ricky Garbanzo as a reserve. The rookie from Coastal Carolina tallied his third goal of his first campaign and has continued to apply amazing pressure on the ball in the midfield. Quinton Griffith is working his way back from knee surgery and is slowly starting to participate in certain activities at training. Dane Kelly returns to form after his injury/red card suspension from last week. He looks to continue his great play in the US Open Cup, where he was awarded the MVP of Round 3.The Battery currently find themselves in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
The Bad Guys: Orlando City SC, Charlotte Independence
Orlando City SC travels back to Blackbaud Stadium for a second time this year following a weather shortened draw in the Carolina Challenge Cup, which saw both teams net early goals in the 1-1 affair. Orlando is also third in the Eastern Conference of MLS, which presents its own challenges to Charleston. With a few key injuries and a busy stretch of matches this month, it will be interesting to see how skipper Adrian Heath chooses to attack their first match of the USOC. He's made it clear he wants to win and be competitive, but will he attempt that at the expense of risking further loss of depth on his club due to injury or fatigue.
The Charlotte Independence are a bit out of the playoff picture with a 3-4-3 record, but have been competitive in both matches so far this year with their nearby rival. The Battery won their first matchup 3-2, then drew at home 1-1 a few weeks back. Jorge Herrera found his way onto the USL ToTW this week, and is a player to watch as the match goes along.
The Dirty Details:
vs Orlando City SC. Blackbaud Stadium tonight, 7:30 pm.
Watch it live HERE
at Charlotte Independence. Ramblewood Soccer Stadium 6/20, 7:30 pm.
The Hired Gun
Jose "Memo" Rodriguez remains the only Houston Dynamo loanee in Charleston as he continues his impressive rookie season. Former Dynamo loanee and Battery teammate Oumar Ballo continues to stay fit and look for a new professional home following a few trails, including for DC United.
The Cat Chit Chat
I was welcomed onto the Pawed Cast over at the Mane Land, covering Orlando City to discuss tonight's match. It was fun to converse with a fellow SB Nation affiliate, especially a quality one such as The Mane Land. Even after a long day in the 110 degree Las Vegas heat, I was still up for some trash talking and predicting victory for our boys. Check out the podcast below. You should listen to the whole thing, but you can skip to me joining around 23:40. I love talking soccer and especially talking on behalf of our Battery, it's a great club that I'm proud to attach my name to.