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Sept 20 Match Preview - CHSvMIA

September 19, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Charleston Battery News Release

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Battery host The Miami FC Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in a crucial matchup as the Black and Yellow look to officially secure their 13th consecutive postseason berth. Coming off of a dominant 1-0 win against Tampa Bay Rowdies where they were in total control from start to finish, the Battery still sit six points behind the Rowdies in Group H, but with two games in hand heading into Sunday's match against a Miami squad facing elimination.

Key Storylines

A Battery win or draw officially qualifies Mike Anhaeuser's squad for their 13th consecutive postseason berth - the longest of all USL Championship clubs and the second longest standing streak in North American professional soccer.

Keeper Joe Kuzminksy looks for his fourth shutout on the season Sunday, facing the only team that has scored on him in his 5 starts this year.

The Battery sit 6 points behind Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Group H standings with 2 games in hand. A win Sunday keeps them on track to unseat Tampa Bay's hold on first place.

The club welcomes an increased number of fans in the stadium on Sunday with approximately 350 fans in attendance - just under 15% of stadium capacity.

Last time out, the Miami FC stole three points from Charleston late in the September 5th match at Riccardo Silva Stadium as Miguel Gonzalez got the equalizer in the 86th minute to force the draw. Gonzalez stands as the only opposing player to score on Battery keeper Joe Kuzminksy this season, but the Battery back line has not conceded more than one goal in a match since August 15th. After the solid defensive performance against Tampa Bay, Charleston will look to contain the Miami attack and limit scoring opportunities yet again.

It's all on the line for both teams on Sunday. The Miami FC will throw caution to the wind as they try to grind their way to a necessary three points in order to stay alive in the standings. And the Battery look to keep pace with Tampa Bay heading into the season's final stretch. Another three points Sunday will lock in their 13th consecutive postseason.

Ones to Watch This Week

Miami FC - Leo Miguel Gonzalez

In an inaugural season The Miami FC might want to move past, the play of Miguel Gonzalez is sure to be a building block to the future. Gonzalez's 3 goals this season come off of just 7 shots for the year, making him the second-leading goal scorer behind veteran Romario Williams. As the only opposing player to score against Joe Kuzminsky since the keeper's return from loan, the Battery back line will look to crowd Gonzalez out of the box this third time out whether he's in the starting eleven or comes in late off the bench.

Charleston - Zeiko Lewis

Zeiko continues to be Charleston Battery's attacking leader this season, leading the team in all attacking categories with 5 goals, 22 shots, and 24 chances created. Statistically speaking, you can bet that Lewis will find the back of the net against a struggling Miami FC defense. Be on the lookout for the Bermudian to add to his goal tally as the Battery plan to score multiple goals in a match for the first time since August 26.

Coach & Training Notes

After the statement made on Group H in last Friday's win over Tampa Bay, the boys took a day off before hitting the training pitch again, including a rain-soaked full scrimmage on Wednesday.

After the impressive team performance against the Rowdies, Coach Mike Anhaeuser praised his team saying, "the biggest thing for us against Tampa Bay was our team defending. We were so good from the top, the middle, and especially at the back." He went on to mention how well the Battery adapted to the different looks that Tampa Bay presented in the last match and how well his team handled the Rowdies through all phases of the game.

On switching focus to Miami FC visiting Patriots Point for the second time this season, Coach added, "the big thing is that we don't want to change. Miami is going to come in here to try and win. We have to do the job and do it well." He continued by saying, "we want to put them away... we need to get the job done. They can come in here and throw numbers forward, so we have to be prepared for a little bit of anything."

As of posting, Kierron Mason and Romario Piggot are listed as unavailable for Sunday's match.

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