Battery closes regular season with two-match road trip
Charleston, SC. The Charleston Battery concludes regular season play this weekend with a pair of road fixtures. Friday night the Battery takes on the Rochester Rhinos (Rochester, NY) in an 8 PM kick off at Marina Auto Stadium. On Sunday the Battery squares off against the Minnesota Thunder at the National Sports Center (Blaine, MN) at 6:05 PM. Both games are available live on SportsRadio 1450 AM.
The Battery has clinched one of four seeded playoff berths and will begin post-season play on the road next Thursday, September 24 against an as yet undetermined opponent. Charleston will play the deciding game of the series at Blackbaud Stadium on Sunday, September 27; kick off is set for 7 PM.
The Battery (13-5-10, 49 points) enters the final weekend of the season in 4th position but could move as high as 2nd depending on other results. The Portland Timbers have clinched the regular season title and automatically advances to the semifinals of the playoffs. Charleston will face the Montreal Impact, the Rochester Rhinos or the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round of the post-season.
The Battery's last match was a 2-1 win versus the Miami FC Blues last Friday night in front of an almost sold-out crowd at Blackbaud Stadium. Charleston scored first through Darren Spicer but saw Miami equalize after half-time with a goal from former Battery forward Aaron King. The game was decided in the late-going with a goal from midfielder Scott Buete.
Charleston defeated Rochester 2-0 at Blackbaud Stadium on May 23 then tied 1-1 with the Rhinos in the second game of the series played in Rochester on July 18.
The Rhinos lost midfielder Johnny Menyongar to a season-ending knee injury this week; Menyongar leads Rochester in goals scored (11) and is the current USL1 Player of the Week.
The Rhinos are led by second-year head coach Darren Tilley; Tilley is a former Rochester player and in his first year in charge guided the Rhinos to an 11-10-9 record in the league. Rochester has advanced to the 2009 post-season keeping a 14-year franchise playoff streak alive.
On Sunday the Battery take on the Minnesota Thunder looking for their first win of the year against a side that is eliminated from playoff contention. The Battery tied Minnesota 1-1 at Blackbaud Stadium on April 24 then lost 3-1 on September 6 in a match also played at Blackbaud.
Minnesota are unbeaten in their last four matches including a 5-2 win versus the Puerto Rico Islanders and the 3-1 win versus Charleston.
The Thunder are led by head coach Donny Gramenz, a former Minnesota player who took over on an interim basis midway through the 08 season. Gramenz sparked the Thunder to an improbable playoff run that saw them lose narrowly to the eventual champions, the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round.
Gramenz played 212 games for the Minnesota Thunder and was a member of the team that lost to the Charleston Battery in the 2003 final.
Charleston Battery Playoff Tickets
Tickets for the 2009 post-season are on sale now with both individual and three game packages available. Three Lions Club members receive complimentary tickets to all playoff games. Charleston will host its first playoff match on Sunday, September 27 with kick off set for 7 PM. To reserve your playoff tickets or for more information please call (843) 971-GOAl (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.
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USL First Division Stories from September 16, 2009
- Timbers Close Regular Season Thursday Against Cleveland - Cleveland City Stars
- City Stars Rematch Portland Thursday - Cleveland City Stars
- Battery closes regular season with two-match road trip - Charleston Battery
- Islanders tie Cruz Azul 3-3 in CCL - USL-1
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