After a couple weeks in Jolly Ole England, No Quarter is back at would looks like the biggest match of the year for the Battery this Friday night!
After Charleston's disappointing run their last three matches ( losses to 1-0 Rochester, 1-0 Orlando and 2-1 Orlando) and Charlotte strong finish to the season, Charlotte could have wrapped up the final playoff spot in the American Division Wednesday night when they played Harrisburg City Islanders. Thankfully for Battery fans, Harrisburg scored in the 87th minute to give the City Islanders a 1-0 win and leaving the final playoff spot still there to be claimed in the final match of the season when Charleston goes head to head with Charlotte Friday night.
And that set up that must have the USL brass smiling. The head to head, winner takes the final playoff spot scenario is televised on live on Fox Soccer Channel nationwide. A season finale, showcasing two local rivals, in one of the premier soccer stadiums in the United States with what looks to be a packed crowd. A better script couldn't have been written.
And if that isn't enough it is also the final match of the Southern Derby Cup. Charleston will win the fan based cup with a win or a draw. Charlotte will in it if they score more than 3 goals and Wilmington will claim the title with a Charlotte win with less than a 2 goal margin.
Charlotte will advance to the post season with a win or a draw. As mentioned, they lost their latest match against Harrisburg but with favorable results in two tough road matches, Charlotte pulled itself out of the bottom of the table and have become a contender late in the season. Knowing a draw will put them through, the Battery will have to press hard throughout the match to get the result they need.
Charleston is going in feeling a bit unlucky as the there have been several matches where the team has out played its opponent but not gotten the result. It comes as no surprise that lack of goals is the primary issue for the club this year. Charleston have yet to score more than two goals per match and only the Dayton Dutch Lions have scored as few goals at the Battery (20 so far) and the Lions have only won two matches this season.
Hopefully there will be a goal glut for the Battery as they push for the post season. JC Mack looks like he will still be unavailable for the match with his ankle injury and Johnny Wilson will be sitting this one out due to a red card suspension he picked up in the dying moments the Orlando match. Also it appears Kelly may have tweaked his ankle during practice but it sounds like he should be fine for the match.
Up the Battery!!!