The Battery hit the road this week for the first of two away matches across four days, facing Hartford Athletic on Tuesday, August 17. Kickoff at Dillon Stadium is set for 7 p.m. EST and will be the second meeting between the two sides this season.
Charleston came away victorious in the first match, defeating Hartford 3-1 at Patriots Point. The match featured goals from Romario Piggott, Claudio Repetto and Nicque Daley to secure the three points. Hartford’s Tulu scored in the 83rd minute of the match to get the Connecticut outfit back into the match in an attempt to salvage a point. Daley, however, put any worries to rest in the 90th minute with a goal to seal the victory.
Looking at the Atlantic Division table, it could not be any closer as the teams are virtually tied. Hartford are in fifth with a record of 7-6-3 (24 pts) and Charleston are in sixth with a 7-6-3 record (24 pts). Tuesday’s match carries with it immense playoff implications as both teams fight for a spot inside the top four.
Hartford return home after a pair of road matches, both losses, most recently falling 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The lone goal of the night came from Jordan Adebayo-Smith, who featured off the bench, in the 85th minute following a corner kick. The match was heavily dominated by the Rowdies’ offense, who outshot Hartford 22-2, despite only having one goal to show for it. Goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell produced five saves for Hartford to keep Tampa scoreless for as long as he could. The Connecticut club will look to bounce back at home.
Charleston are coming off a gritty 1-0 home victory over a stingy Loudoun United FC side that were determined to give the Battery their all in the final regular season meeting between the two. The match was scoreless through the first hour and a quarter, goalkeeper Paul Lewis rose to the occasion to prevent Loudoun from scoring with a penalty save in the 37th minute. Charleston broke ahead in the 79th minute when Robbie Crawford scored from the edge of the box, assisted by Zeiko Lewis, in his first match since July 7. The Black and Yellow will aim to build on that momentum heading into Dillon Stadium.
With both sides sporting the same record and points total, a victory by either will ascend the winners in the top four of the division.
Ones to Watch This Week
Barrera is among Hartford’s most dangerous threats on offense. The seasoned midfielder leads the club in chances created, shots, assists and goals (tied with two others). During the first match against Charleston, Barrera registered four shots, two key passes, three recoveries and completed 44 of 56 passes. Barrera is also just one of three players on Hartford to start all 16 of the club’s matches. Watch for Barrera to play a key role again in Hartford’s offensive pursuits.
Crawford provided the late-game heroics against Loudoun while coming off the bench, scoring in the 79th minute to lift the Battery 1-0. The goal was his first of the season and second with the Black and Yellow. The Scottish midfielder had been absent from the pitch since the July 7 match against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. Prior to landing on the injury report, Crawford had been a regular in the lineup and a key presence in the Battery midfield with 10 starts. As Crawford works his way back into matches, expect his presence to enhance the Battery game plan, whether in the starting lineup or off the bench.
From the Training Ground
The Battery had a quick turnaround between matches following Friday’s victory as they prepare for Tuesday’s away fixture. The Black and Yellow trained at Patriots Point on Sunday prior to heading North.
“You start with the recovery, and [Sunday] was more getting in and seeing where we are, we have a couple knocks, a couple players that have been out that are hopefully are coming back in,” said Anhaeuser. “The guys looked pretty good, the ones that played in the game, looked very good [Sunday], so we should be in a good spot.”
The away trip will be the furthest up north for the Black and Yellow since the season opener against New York Red Bulls II on May 7, presenting a different climate from the Lowcountry. Coach Anhaeuser expects the players to enjoy the milder climate.
“When the guys go out for training when we get up there [Monday], they’re going to be feeling great when they run and warm up,” said Anhaeuser.
Battery midfielder Robbie Crawford said the team will look to build on Friday’s victory for the road trip.
“It was a positive result, so we just want to keep that going,” said Crawford. “We had some things we were happy with, some other things we think we can improve on. The clean sheet was a positive, created a few chances and got the win in the end, but we all know we can do better.”
Crawford did not play in the first meeting with Hartford, but the Black and Yellow know they will have a strong side opposite them this Tuesday.
“[Hartford] started off the season really well, they’ve got some players that can be a real threat, just have to be aware of that,” said Crawford. “We need to be ready for the challenge they will bring.”
As of posting, Angelo Kelly, Joel Bunting and Logan Gdula are questionable, and Jarad van Schaik, Ben Di Rosa, Joe Kuzminsky, Leland Archer, Patrick Hogan, Nico Rittmeyer, and Mauro Cichero are out.
Hartford Athletic vs. Charleston Battery
Tuesday, August 17 – 7:00 p.m. EST Kickoff
Dillon Stadium, Hartford, Connecticut
HOW TO WATCH:
All Battery matches will stream domestically on ESPN+, you can tune in Tuesday here. International viewers can catch the action via the USL YouTube channel for free.
The Battery will also be hosting a supporters watch party at Uptown Social in downtown Charleston, starting at 6 p.m. ahead of kickoff! Full details on the event can be found in the linked image below.