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Match Preview: Charleston Battery vs. Richmond Kickers

By Sarah Cardamone, 06/07/18, 3:30PM EDT

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Zach Bland photo

The Charleston Battery (5-2-5) travels to Richmond, Virginia this weekend to take on the Richmond Kickers (3-6-1) Saturday night at City Stadium. The match in Richmond is the third of four straight on the road for the Battery.

Saturday’s match will be the 62nd meeting between the old rivals. The Battery has the edge in the series, holding a 28-25-9 record against the Kickers since 1993. In last year’s three-game series, the home team took each game. The Battery recorded two 1-0 victories at MUSC Health Stadium, while the Kickers won, 3-1, at City Stadium last August.

Both Charleston and Richmond were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup in their midweek matches and will now turn their attention fully to the league. The Battey lost, 3-0, to Atlanta United in Kennesaw, Georgia on Wednesday night while the Kickers dropped a 5-0 result to Philadelphia Union in Chester, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night.

In their last USL match, the Battery played Indy Eleven to a thrilling 3-3 draw at Lucas Oil Stadium. O’Brian Woodbine, Ataulla Guerra, and Tah Brian Anunga scored in the back-and-forth battle. Guerra’s goal was his seventh of the year, which has him tied for second in the USL, one behind league-leader Kharlton Belmar.

Woodbine made his first USL appearance in the match in Indianapolis after spending the first third of the season on the sideline. The veteran defender played 65 minutes and scored his first league goal since August 20, 2016 in the match.

Anunga’s 94th minute equalizer against the Eleven extended the Battery’s unbeaten streak to nine league matches. The goal was the holding midfielder’s third of the year. Anunga, along with Jarad van Schaik and Skylar Thomas, has played every minute for the Battery so far this season.

Joe Kuzminsky gave up multiple goals in a game for the first time this season in the six-goal affair in Indy. Kuzminsky has earned four shutouts in seven starts, giving up five goals along the way. The second-year goalkeeper hasn’t given up a goal in the run of play yet this season; all five of his goals against have come from set pieces.

Kuzminsky and the Battery will face a familiar foe this weekend in Heviel Cordoves. The Cuban striker signed with Richmond in the offseason after spending five seasons in Charleston. Cordoves finished second in scoring for the Battery in 2017 with nine goals; he’s found the back of the net once for the Kickers so far this season.

There is a chance that the Battery sees another former striker on Saturday as well. D.C. United’s Dane Kelly has appeared in two matches for Richmond and scored the lone goal in their 1-0 win over Tampa in May.

The Kickers are currently in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, while the Battery sits in fifth; but, as previous meetings have proven, records and table position mean very little in this rivalry. City Stadium is always a tough away venue for the Battery and Saturday will be no different. 

The Official Charleston Battery vs. Richmond Kickers Watch Party will be hosted at Oak Road Brewery in Summerville, SC. The match will be broadcast live on MyTV Charleston as well as streamed on ESPN+. Kickoff in Virginia is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

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