The Battery clinched a spot in the USL Playoffs last weekend with their 1-1 draw with Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place Stadium. Heviel Cordoves shined again, coming on as a second-half substitute and scoring the equalizer in the 85th minute. Cordoves’ goal was his seventh of the season and sixth in as many games. The Cuban striker has scored six of the Battery’s last seven goals dating back to August 26th.
Last weekend’s draw momentarily moved the Battery into second place, ahead of the Charlotte Independence on goal differential; however Tampa Bay bumped Charleston back down to third place with a 3-2 win over New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday. Despite dropping a place in the standings midweek, Charleston could clinch a top-four finish Saturday night. With a win over Harrisburg and a Rochester loss in Pittsburgh, the Battery would clinch a home game in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Following his late-game heroics against Ottawa, Cordoves will likely get the start up front for the Battery Saturday night. Both teams will be missing their top goal-scorers, with Romario Williams missing due to international duty and Jonathan Mensah and Pedro Ribeiro missing due to suspension for Harrisburg.
Saturday’s match against the Battery is Harrisburg’s final match of the 2017 season. The City Islanders can only finish as high as ninth in the Eastern Conference, eliminating them from playoff contention.
Despite already being eliminated, Harrisburg are in the best form in the entire USL. The City Islanders have taken 13 points from their last five games, winning four matches and drawing one. The trip to MUSC Health Stadium will be Harrisburg’s first match away from home since their 2-1 win over Saint Louis on September 9th.
The City Islanders have one of the worst road records in the Eastern Conference at 3-10-2. They’ve been shutout ten times away from home, including four of their last five road matches. With Mensah and Ribeiro missing, Jamaican midfielder Paul Wilson will pose the biggest threat to Odisnel Cooper’s goal Saturday night.