The Battery head to South Florida Wednesday for the penultimate match of the regular season as they face Group H foe, The Miami FC, at 7:30 p.m. Coming off an unplanned ten-day break due to the cancellation of last Saturday’s match against Loudoun United FC, the Battery will be in the Sunshine State for a 2-game road stretch to conclude the regular season. Wednesday night’s match against Miami will be the fourth and final meeting of the two teams in the restructured USL Championship season. Charleston leads Miami in the season series 2-0-1.
In their last meeting on September 20, the Battery controlled the match versus Miami for a 2-0 shutout win at Patriots Point. The victory punched Charleston’s ticket to the postseason while dashing Miami’s remaining chance at playoff contention. With nothing to lose this time around, the Miami side will look to cause trouble for the Battery back home at Riccardo Silva Stadium and spoil Charleston’s nine-game unbeaten streak.
The Black and Yellow need to get on the scoreboard early Wednesday night as they are 7-0-2 when putting up the first goal. Meanwhile, Paul Dalglish’s Miami squad will look to contain early pressure from Charleston and take advantage of the Battery’s limited minutes on artificial turf this season. In the 1-1 draw at Riccardo Silva Stadium earlier this month, Charleston had trouble early retaining possession on the playing surface. Watch out for the Battery coming out fast on solid footing this time around in Miami as they keep their eyes on first place in Group H.
The Miami FC midfielder has been a mainstay in Paul Dalglish’s side having started in all but one of Miami’s matches this season. Bezecourt leads the team in chances created with 19 to his name. The Battery defense will be keeping their eye on Bezecourt as he’ll look to create a chance of his own and find his first goal for the year.
The Battery contained Gonzalez their last time out on September 20, limiting the Miami attacker to just one opportunity and zero shots that evening. Gonzalez, however, still leads the team in conversion rate with 3 goals on 7 shots and is the only opponent to score on Battery netminder Joe Kuzminsky this season. Whether Gonzalez gets the start or comes off the bench, look out for Miami using Gonzalez as a distraction for the Battery back line in order to find opportunities around the edges.
The Battery captain continues to lead his team through an exciting season for the Black and Yellow. His passing ability and knack for initiating counter attacks has been a major key to the team’s success so far. With 547 passes, an 83.7% passing accuracy, and 29 clearances, van Schaik continues to be a behind-the-scenes contributor to the Battery’s impressive attacking stats. Look for the captain to continue his steady presence and drive the Battery into the attack early Wednesday night.
Daley is second to only Zeiko Lewis in shots on target this season. With three goals this season, including one against Miami on September 20, the South Florida squad will surely be keeping their eyes on the speedster. Paul Dalglish may look to revert to 4 in the back knowing the threat Daley poses charging up the middle.
The boys made the most out of the long break between games, taking in a seventy minute all-squad scrimmage last Saturday before heading to Florida to close out the regular season.
On the extended break and shifting focus to Miami FC, Coach Mike Anhaeuser commented, “You have to react. It’s disappointing that you lose the game [from the schedule]. But you have to react and do something different. We were able to have an inter-squad scrimmage to get the guys minutes and play a game to keep it in line with what’s happening.”
Looking ahead to playing on the road in Miami, Coach added, “We’ve already played there one time. It’s a little chunky and different surface than we’ve played on. We just have to come out ready and focused from the beginning.”
The Miami FC vs. Charleston Battery
Wednesday, September 30 – 7:30 PM EST Kickoff
Riccardo Silva Stadium
HOW TO WATCH:
All Battery matches will be streaming on the ESPN+ platform. Wednesday's match will be live HERE.