The Battery square off against Swope Park Rangers on Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park. Swope Park enters the contest following a 4-0 road loss to Ottawa last week while the Battery took three points against Hartford Athletic in a 3-2 win on July 20th.
The teams split points in their previous meeting against Swope on June 22nd. Two second-half goals would see the teams finish 1-1.
Romario Piggott scored his second goal of the season and his second goal in a three-match span to put the Battery up 1-0. Jarad van Schaik played in a low pass from the right side, looking to pick out Kotaro Higashi who was making a strong run into the box. Swope defender Camden Riley was able to get the slightest of touches on van Schaik's pass and the resulting deflection left the ball in the path of Piggott.
Swope Park's leading goalscorer, Felipe Hernandez, pulled his team level in the 82nd minute. After receiving a pass on the left edge of the penalty area Hernandez curled in a beauty, slipping his shot past Nico Rittmeyer and Leland Archer, and beating Joe Kuzminsky off the far post.
Ian Svantesson and Adrian Zendejas were both sent off in the final minute of the match; Svantesson picking up a straight red card and Zendejas receiving his second yellow.
What to Watch For
Felipe Hernandez continues to lead the team in scoring (8) and shows no signs of slowing down. Hernandez has scored three goals in five matches which includes his goal against the Battery last month.
While Hernandez has been the focal point of the Swope Park attack, midfielder Alexsander Andrade has been a reliable contributor this season, leading the team in assists (5) and chances created (29). Andrade is one assist shy of being tied for the Eastern Conference lead and pulls the strings in the midfield attempting 1,013 passes and carries an 82.3% completion percentage.
Swope Park sits 16th in the East, two points ahead of Hartford Athletic who occupy the last spot. While Swope has only won three games this season they enter the match having won two of their last four with both victories coming at home.
Ataulla Guerra didn't disappoint in his 2019 season debut against Hartford, leveling the scoring in the 79th minute. Guerra and the Battery are looking to turn a corner offensively and have been much better in recent weeks. The Battery have scored in each of their last three matches and have scored multiple goals in two of the last three. Zeiko Lewis and Guerra could prove to be one of the most dangerous pairings in the USL Championship in the second half of the season.
Swope Park Rangers: USL Championship Record, 3-10-6
Goals: Hernandez (8)
Assists: Andrade (5)
Chances Created: Andrade (29)
Saves: Dick (33)
Clean Sheets: Dick, Zendejas (1)
Charleston Battery: USL Championship Record, 6-4-8
Goals: Lewis (6)
Assists: Higashi, Lewis (3)
Chances Created: Lewis (23)
Saves: Kuzminsky (45)
Clean Sheets: Kuzminsky (3)