The Charleston Battery square off against Loudoun United FC Sunday afternoon at MUSC Health Stadium. The Battery are looking to solidify a place in the postseason while Loudoun take aim at a third consecutive win.
Goals from Taylor Mueller and Dante Marini propelled the Battery to a win in their first ever meeting with Loudoun at Segra Field on August 14th. Mueller opened the scoring while Marini doubled the lead midway through the second half. Loudoun substitute Orlando Sinclair made things interesting in the 77th minute bringing his team within a goal and leading the attack in a wild finish in the Battery's penalty area.
We could be in for a shootout at MUSC Health Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Loudoun have conceded multiple goals in nineteen matches while twenty-three of their matches have seen three or more goals scored in the match. The Battery have hit opponents for multiple goals in six of fifteen home matches including a 3-1 win against Nashville on April 20th.
Ataulla Guerra will miss out on Sunday's actions after picking up a red card in a 0-0 draw with Birmingham last Saturday. Arthur Bosua, Ian Svantesson, and Nicque Daley will be called upon to carry the load in a very important match for the Black and Yellow. The trio have scored nine goals this season with Svantesson and Daley adding to that total with four U.S. Open Cup goals between them. Daley has missed time this season with a knee injury, but his return to action as a substitute against Birmingham is an encouraging sign for the young Jamaican international. Bosua and Svantesson seem the likely starter(s) while coach Anhaeuser will call on Daley to provide a moment of magic off the bench.
Gordon Wild leads the way for Loudoun and has been red hot since joining the team at the end of July. The German forward has found the back of the net eight times has quicly become the focal point of Loudoun's attack. Wild was on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win against Tampa Bay and showcased his versatility with a hat trick against Swope Park on September 25th. Battery fans are very familiar with Wild as they watched him score seven goals for the Black and Yellow in 2018.
Playoff Watch - Wednesday night featured four USL Championship matches with two Eastern Conference battles carrying major playoff implications. Those midweek results went in favor of the Battery with Hartford stunning Birmingham, 4-0, and Loudoun picking up a stoppage-time winner against Saint Louis. Charleston remains level on points with Birmingham and are two points shy of Saint Louis for the 9th spot. With a game in hand on both teams, and a favorable three-match home stretch to close out the season, the Battery are in control of their own destiny.
A win against Loudoun could see the Battery move from 11th to 9th bypassing Birmingham and Saint Louis, however, that would require a Saint Louis loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Three points for Charleston this weekend would move them above the Legion and the playoff line. A draw would also move the Battery past Birmingham.
Charleston's final three opponents have a combined record of 26-50-19 and a goal difference of -47.
#9. Saint Louis FC: Maximum points 48; Pittsburgh Riverhounds (H), North Carolina FC (A)
#10. Birmingham Legion: Maximum points 46; New York Red Bulls II (H), Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (H)
#11. Charleston Battery: Maximum points 49; Loudoun United (H), Memphis 901 FC (H), Bethlehem Steel FC (H)
Tickets for Sunday's match are available online or by calling (843) 971-GOAL!
Charleston Battery: USL Championship Record, 9-9-13
Goals: Lewis (6)
Assists: Higashi (4)
Chances Created: Lewis (35)
Saves: Kuzminsky (84)
Clean Sheets: Kuzminsky (7)
Loudoun United FC: USL Championship Record, 9-17-6
Goals: Murphy (11)
Assists: Bustamante, Murphy, Presley, Wild (3)
Chances Created: Bustamante (41)
Saves: Brown, Edwards Jr. (60)
Clean Sheets: Edwards Jr. (3)