The Charleston Battery wrap up their 2021 campaign Saturday when they face The Miami FC on October 30th. Kickoff for the season finale at Patriots Point is set for 7 p.m. EST.
The club will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night at Patriots Point as they welcome the Lowcountry crowd one last time.
Only the home team has come out victorious in the matches this season with the Battery winning the first game and Miami winning the second, with a 1-1 draw in game three at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Last time Miami visited Patriots Point, the Battery overcame an early 0-1 deficit that saw Zeiko Lewis tie the game and Charleston native Joel Bunting score the match-winning goal.
Looking at the Atlantic Division table, Miami are in fourth with a record of 15-10-6 (51 pts) and Charleston are in sixth with a 10-14-7 record (37 pts).
Miami are aiming to conclude their campaign strong ahead of postseason action following a 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls II. Adonijah Reed got on the scoresheet early for Miami and Christiano Francois added a second goal late in the match to secure the win. Miami’s most recent game action came during a 23-minute replay of the final stages of their contest against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which was a 0-1 loss on October 27.
Charleston will look to conclude their 2021 season on a high note following a 2-0 away defeat against Hartford Athletic. It was a rainy evening in Connecticut that had both sides adjusting to the conditions from the very start. The Battery applied early pressure but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. Hartford tallied goals in each half to secure the result. Goalkeeper Paul Lewis notched a career-high four saves on the night.
Since Miami joined the USL Championship last season, the Battery hold a slight edge in the all-time series with a 3-2-2 head-to-head record.
Akinyode has been a mainstay in the Miami defense throughout the 2021 season, being one of only three players to start thirty games. Akinyode leads the team in interceptions (49), tackles (123) and duels won (212). The New York Red Bulls academy product had a strong showing against his former side, checking in with seven recoveries, seven duels won and two interceptions while completing 96% of his passes (49 of 51). Expect Akinyode to be another key component of the Miami squad come Saturday.
Lewis will play a crucial role in creating opportunities for the Battery on Saturday. Should Zeiko notch two assists during the game, he’d be rubbing elbows with Danny Barrera for the league lead. The Bermudian international also ranks seventh in the league in chances created with 58. Against Miami this year, Lewis has tallied two goals, one assist and nine key passes – look for him to continue that run against the South Florida side on Saturday.
The Battery were back at training Thursday following a day of travel and recovery from the Hartford match.
Preparations for the fourth meeting with Miami came with the message of finishing the season strong as they have been at Patriots Point.
“We’re just trying to get back to what we’ve done the last two home games, we’ve come out, we’ve scored goals, we’ve been attacking and we want to end on that note,” said Anhaeuser. “We’re playing a very offensive team in Miami, we know they can score, so it could be a shootout.
“We’re going to be ready for everything, we want to make sure we come out and do what we did in the last two home games.”
Battery forward Stavros Zarokostas said the team will look to make the most of the final 90 minutes left to play out on Saturday, especially with the home fans backing them.
“We always perform better at home, the crowd really helps us, the fans really are the 12th person on the field and it carries us through the game,” said Zarokostas. “I’m excited to have one more go at it.”
Zarokostas is confident in his teammates to bounce back from the previous two road matches.
“[We’ve had] high intensity in training, it’s really a lot of focus, it comes down to that,” said Zarokostas. “We want to work on our finishing product, we were lacking a little bit the last two games, but we’re very confident that we can do better this game.”
At the end of the night, the team will look to wrap up the 2021 season on a positive result.
“You want to finish on a good note, as a player and as an organization and for the fans, that’s key and that’s the message that’s going to be passed on,” said Anhaeuser.
As of posting, Geobel Perez, Leland Archer, and Logan Gdula are questionable, and Josh Penn, Erik McCue, Nico Rittmeyer, Mauro Cichero, and AJ Paterson are out.
Charleston Battery vs. The Miami FC
Saturday, October 30 – 7:00 p.m. EST Kickoff
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s match and can be purchased via SeatGeek here.
All Battery matches will also stream on ESPN+ domestically and through the league’s YouTube channel for free internationally.