The Charleston Battery take on Swope Park Rangers at Children's Mercy Park at 8:00 PM EST. Tonight's match was originally scheduled for July 27th but was postponed due to an auto accident involving the Battery's team cars on the way to the stadium.
It's been a tough year for Swope Park who have managed just three wins in twenty-five matches. They enter Wednesday night's match on a seven-game losing streak and will be desperate for a positive result against the Battery.
Felipe Hernandez, who scored in Rangers 1-1 draw against the Battery on June 22nd, leads Swope in goals (8) while adding three assists. Hernandez recently signed a contract with Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City to become the 12th Homegrown Player in the clubs history. If Hernandez is unavailable for selection Wednesday night, Swope would lean on their in-form striker, Wilson Harris, who has five goals in eighteen appearances this season. Harris has been locked in recently finding the back of the net in three of the last four and converting on 47.1% of his shot attempts.
Charleston begin a three-game road trip starting with tonight's contest against Swope. Goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky is coming off an impressive performance against Indy Eleven on Sunday evening in a 1-0 win for the Battery. Reduced to ten-men in the 57th minute, Kuzminsky made a total of six saves to keep the Eleven from finding an equalizing goal. Kuzminsky and the Battery have now produced back to back shutouts for the first time this season and will look to make it three in a row against the Rangers.
Romario Piggott scored his third goal of the season on Sunday and opened the scoring against Swope Park in the teams' June meeting. Piggott has had a quiet season for the Battery thus far, but a late-season surge would do wonders for Mike Anhaeuser's side as they battle for a playoff spot.
Playoff Watch - Charleston's win against Indy Eleven pulled them within a point of Saint Louis FC for the final playoff spot in the East. A draw tonight would see the Battery go level with Saint Louis on points but remain in 11th place while a win would move the Black and Yellow past Birmingham Legion and into the 9th spot. After tonight's contest Charleston, Saint Louis, and Birmingham will be even on matches played heading into the weekend. Saint Louis and Birmingham square off on Friday night in what becomes a very important match for both teams.
Swope Park aren't mathematically eliminated from postseason play but would need a miracle to find themselves in the playoff discussion. Swope are twenty points behind 10th place Saint Louis and are last in the Eastern Conference.
Swope Park Rangers: USL Championship Record, 3-16-6
Goals: Hernandez (8)
Assists: Andrade (5)
Chances Created: Andrade (34)
Saves: Dick (33)
Clean Sheets: Dick, Zendejas (1)
Charleston Battery: USL Championship Record, 8-7-10
Goals: Lewis (6)
Assists: Higashi (4)
Chances Created: Lewis (27)
Saves: Kuzminsky (65)
Clean Sheets: Kuzminsky (5)