Zach Bland Photo.
The Charleston Battery enter Saturday’s match with New York Red Bulls II seeking their first win in six games. The Battery dropped out of first place for the first time since April 22nd after losing, 1-0, to Toronto FC II last weekend at Ontario Soccer Centre.
Playing without Romario Williams, O’Brian Woodbine, and Maikel Chang, the Battery lost to the last place team in the Eastern Conference last Saturday. Charleston created several quality chances, but were unable to find the back of the net and were shutout for the fourth time in the last five matches.
The Battery will have just about a full roster available for Saturday’s rematch with the Red Bulls. With everyone apart from injured Dante Marini available, Charleston’s top attacking tandem of Romario Williams and Ataulla Guerra are expected to play together for the first time since the Battery’s 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies at MUSC Health Stadium back on July 1st. A win or a draw on Saturday would extend the Battery’s unbeaten streak at home to 10 matches.
The Battery are 8-1-2 when Guerra and Williams are in the starting line-up and 2-4-5 when they are not. The attacking tandem has had a direct hand in 20 of Charleston’s 39 goals scored this season.
The Red Bulls returned to winning form last weekend, defeating the Rochester Rhinos, 2-1, at MSU Soccer Park in New Jersey. Arun Basuljevic opened the scoring in the fifth minute and Stefano Bonomo added a second early on in the second half.
Rochester played the entire second half down a man after Joseph Farrell received his second yellow card in the 44th minute. The game ended with only 19 players on the field, with a player from each team being sent off in the 82 minute. Basuljevic (NY) and Kenardo Forbes (ROC) were shown straight red cards for violent conduct; both will miss their teams’ next three matches.
The Battery lost, 2-1, to the Red Bulls at MSU Soccer Park on May 28th. Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser elected to play a rotated squad in New York; Romario Williams, Forrest Lasso, Ataulla Guerra, O’Brian Woodbine, Maikel Chang, Kotaro Higashi, and Neveal Hackshaw were all either on the bench to start or not in the 18 for the match.
Scoring Summary: Justin Portillo (45’); Junior Flemmings, (54’); Derrick Etienne (75’)