Battery on the Road Tuesday to Face Loudoun United
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Battery are on the road this week to take on Loudoun United FC on Tuesday, July 27, at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST and will be the third of four meetings between the two sides.
Charleston visit the Virginia side Tuesday looking for their third consecutive win since defeating Hartford and Charlotte the past two weeks, while also seeking a third victory over Loudoun on the season
Tuesday's fixture could be coined "The Di Rosa Derby" as twin brothers Ben Di Rosa (Charleston) and Matt Di Rosa (Loudoun), who played together at the University of Maryland, are set to face each other for the first time on opposing sides
Friday's 2-0 defeat of Charlotte pushed the Battery into 5th on the Atlantic Division table. A win over Loudoun Tuesday will put the Battery in position to climb back into the playoff picture, facing fourth-place Miami FC on the road Sunday, August 1
Tuesday's match offers a chance for the Battery to climb in the Atlantic Division table sitting just behind Charlotte in the standings. A win Friday would jump the Independence in the rankings.
The Charleston attack is firing on all cylinders with Nicque Daley leading the team with 4 goals and four players with multiple goals on the year (Rookies Claudio Repetto and Joel Bunting plus veterans Zeiko Lewis and Stavros Zarokostas with 2 goals apiece)
Coach Mike Anhaeuser has lauded the teams recent success end to end, scoring first and holding teams defensively the full 90 minutes
Charleston have come away victorious in the previous two fixtures with Loudoun, 0-1 at Segra Field and 3-0 at Patriots Point. The Battery were powered by a match-winning goal from Burke Fahling in the first match and were lifted by a goal from Stavros Zarokostas and a brace from Nicque Daley in the second.
Looking at the Atlantic Division table, Charleston are in fifth with a 5-4-3 record (18 pts) and Loudoun are in eighth with a 2-11-0 record (6 pts).
Loudoun are coming off a 3-1 road defeat against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday. The early-and-often combination of goals between the Rowdies' Aarón Guillén, Leo Fernandes and Sebastián Guenzatti proved to be too much for Loudoun to overcome. The Virginia outfit did get one back in the 70th minute when Nicky Downs scored from outside the box to make the game 2-1 at the time, but Tampa Bay quickly struck back via Guenzatti. Loudoun will look to bounce back as they return home for Tuesday night's match.
Charleston are looking to keep their current run of form going following their second-consecutive victory over Atlantic Division opponents, defeating Charlotte 2-0 on Friday. The match was a stalemate until early in the second half when Nicque Daley initiated a counter-attack that saw him and Zeiko Lewis trade passes before Daley ultimately scored the go-ahead goal. Joe Kuzminsky and Joel Bunting connected for the second goal to put the game away; the shot-stopper's goal kick found Bunting in the attacking third to chip the ball over Brandon Miller for the score. Kuzminsky had an impressive night which also featured a penalty save in the first half to keep the score and sparked some momentum for the Black and Yellow.
The match could feature the very first Di Rosa Derby, as brothers Ben and Matt are currently with Charleston and Loudoun, respectively. The Di Rosa twins previously played together at the University of Maryland before advancing to the professional level.
Ones to Watch This Week
Loudoun United - Timmy Mehl
As with most MLS2 clubs, the Loudoun roster can vary between regular player movements with D.C. United. Mehl, however, has been a constant in the Loudoun lineup and the only player to start every match for the side this season. The center back has put together a strong season for himself so far, leading in clearances, blocks (tied), interceptions and aerial duels won. Expect Mehl to maintain his presence in the back line while countering the Battery's forwards.
Charleston Battery - Joe Kuzminksy
Kuzminsky is coming off a night with production on offense and defense from the goalkeeper. Joe set the tone for the evening in the first half with a save on a Charlotte penalty in the 25th minute. Sylvain Marveaux went for the bottom right corner of the net but Kuzminsky was there to make the denial. The keeper made his mark on the scoresheet when he assisted Joel Bunting off a goal kick to make the game 2-0. With two saves, four high claims, a clean sheet and the assist, Kuzminsky earned Man of the Match honors from USLChampionship.com and FotMob.com, the latter rating his performance a 9.1 (out of 10). Per the league, Joe became the first goalkeeper in USL Championship history to record a penalty save and an assist in the same regular-season match. Expect Kuzminsky to remain an anchor in the Battery defense on Tuesday.
Coach & Training Notes
The Battery returned to training at Patriots Point on Sunday following a recovery day after Friday's victory. The team will travel to Leesburg on Monday for a training session in Virginia ahead of Tuesday's match.
As of posting, Jarad van Schaik, Robbie Crawford, Erik McCue, Nico Rittmeyer, and Mauro Cichero are out.
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