Battery Host Rio Grande Valley at Patriots Point on Friday
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Battery return home this week to take on Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Friday. Kickoff at Patriots Point is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and the club will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Night at the stadium, presented by Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Charleston and Rio Grande have not previously met before, making Friday's fixture the inaugural match between the two. RGV FC played their first season in the USL Championship in 2016 as part of Houston Dynamo as a hybrid affiliate but became an independent club in December 2020.
Rio Grande enter Friday's match on a three-game win streak and most recently defeated Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at home, 1-0. RGV FC's Jonas Fjeldberg broke the match open in the 29th minute with a goal that proved to be the match-winner. The Texas club are currently seventh in the Western Conference table and will look to hold onto their playoff position as Oakland Roots SC and Monterey Bay FC are right behind them.
The Battery return home looking to build upon their success at Patriots Point this month. At home, Charleston defeated New York Red Bulls II and the Tampa Bay Rowdies to open the September schedule. The Black and Yellow succumbed 5-0 to Memphis 901 FC last Friday and will look to get back to winning ways this Friday.
Augi Williams and Fidel Barajas are off on international duty with Sierra Leone and the Mexico U-17 national teams, respectively, and will not be available for the Battery.
Fjeldberg is one to watch in Rio Grande's squad. In addition to scoring the match-winner in their last game, he is the club's leading goalscorer (six) this season. He has also registered one assist and 14 chances created.
Aidan Apodaca will be one to keep an eye on for Charleston, as he will look to fill the void on offense while Williams is away. Apodaca is the team's second-highest goalscorer with five and has the second-most chances created with 25.
Charleston will be without Leland Archer, Mauro Cichero and DZ Harmon for red cards issued in the Memphis match. Head Coach Conor Casey and Assistant Coach Chris Duvall will also be absent from the contest because of red cards received in Memphis.
Friday will see the return of Frank Nodarse to the Lowcountry after the Cuban defender played three matches with the Battery in 2021 on a short-term loan
FROM THE TRAINING GROUND
From the training ground
The Battery returned to training on Monday following a period of recovery and travel after the away match on Friday.
Head Coach Conor Casey and goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux discussed the upcoming match against Rio Grande, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Casey on this week's preparations...
It's been a good week of training. We worked a lot in the transition moments and on our press, getting pressure on the other team. A normal week for us preparing for what's a very good team in Rio Grande Valley.
Coach Casey on the importance of guys stepping up on Friday...
We've had a couple of cards on the weekend, so a couple of guys aren't available. It's a big opportunity for some guys that maybe haven't gotten quite as many minutes this year to step up and push the group forward. We want to finish the season strong and we had a hiccup last game.
Coach Casey on what RGV FC bring to the table...
They're a very good team, defensively very organized and they get a lot of numbers behind the ball. They have a lot of tricky players and they like to create overloads in a lot of different areas. So for us, it will be about making sure we get the right pressure, keep our structure and compete.
Fauroux on the focus in training this week...
We started the week with a lot of focus, staying professional. It was very disappointing last weekend. We have to bounce back and we have to show up every day with a lot of intensity to be ready to go into Friday's game.
Fauroux on Rio Grande, a team he has some familiarity with...
I did play against RGV last year, they're a very talented team. They have a lot of young and experienced players. They use the field to play very wide and on the run. They're trying to make the playoffs, so it's going to be a very interesting game, but we're here to be a tough opponent for them.
Fauroux on the team looking to make the most of the remaining two home matches...
The fans have been amazing this year. Now we have two more home games and we just want to win both of them. We're going into Friday doing everything we can to win that game for the fans.
As of posting, Joe Schmidt and Joe Kuzminsky are out. Romario Piggott remains out while serving his final game of suspension due to yellow card accumulation.
Charleston Battery vs. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
Friday, September 23 - 7:00 p.m. ET Kickoff
HOW TO WATCH:
Tickets are available for Friday's match and can be purchased via SeatGeek.com, the Battery's exclusive digital ticketing provider.
All Battery matches will also stream on ESPN+ domestically and through the league's YouTube channel for free internationally.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 22, 2022
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- Battery Add Charleston Natives Caden Theobald, Joel Bunting to Roster - Charleston Battery
- Match Preview: Republic FC v San Antonio FC - Sacramento Republic FC
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- Monterey Bay F.C. Draws in 3-3 Shootout with Phoenix Rising FC at Cardinale Stadium - Monterey Bay FC
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