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March to the Match: Charleston Battery

WHO: Charleston Battery, 5-2-3, 18 points, 3rd place in the Eastern Conference

WHAT: Yet another Louisville City league away game.

WHEN: TODAY! Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Historic Blackbaud MUSC Health Stadium on Daniel Island near Charleston, South Carolina. I say historic because everything in Charleston is historic. Just ask someone.

“Hey, that’s a cool looking dog house.”

“Oh, yes, that is the dog house where Colonel James Swarthington hid during the invasion of the Yankee Horde with his dog Lucius. He stayed in there for nigh on a decade, just livin’ of table scrap with Ol’ Lucius.”

WATCH: We’ll be at at Saints again at 131 Breckenridge Lane in St. Matthews for this game and the USMNT friendly against Bolivia, so come join us! They’ve got specials on some domestic pitchers and wings, which is great. If you can’t make it to Saints or Against the Grain or Great Flood (which might also be showing the game) because your friend whom you haven’t seen socially in a while invited you to a cookout during both this match AND the Champions League final, well, A) convert that person into a soccer fan with some awareness STAT and B) bring your Chromecast, Fire Stick, or Apple TV to their house, hijack their TV, and watch it HERE:

WHO, AGAIN? Ah, the Charleston Batteries. When we last saw these fair bumblebees, they were watching in disgust as we hugged the life out of Matt Fondy’s two extra-time goals at Slugger Field in the playoffs and carried him off the field on a throne. Hands down the best Louisville City game ever played, and shut up about the small sample size.

Since that time, the only things I can recall about the club from memory are that they lost all-time USL goalscorer Dane Kelly to Swope Park Rangers, the team was sold to B Sports Entertainment, they got some monstrosity of a new video board built at their stadium, and their new owner was publicly shamed by the league for kicking out Charleston’s newspaper of record from covering the team. None of these things are especially good, except maybe the video board thing.

On the field, Charleston is still a good team. They’re irritatingly consistent. Their back line, which includes Sean Ferguson and Forrest “Ted” Lasso, has been one of the best in the league for a while now. They’ve given up ten goals on the season for an average of one per game, and are riding two clean sheets of their own in the league. Let’s also not forget that Charleston haven’t lost at home for nearly two years, a 29-game streak, currently.

Offensively, the Battery are led this season by Romario Williams’s six goals, which come from 24 shots, 12 on goal. That’s pretty good. The Battery aren’t overly powerful, but appear to at least be clinical, so Louisville City’s back four will need to keep their heads on a swivel. Justin Portillo, Michael Chang, and Ricky Garbanzo are all good attacking players who seem to love slide tackles, so this should be a good match.

Now, take all these accolades and pour some salt on them because if you look at the Battery’s schedule thus far, it’s not that impressive. Their last two wins came against hapless Toronto FC and an admittedly improving Wilmington Hammerheads team. The only team that they’ve beaten with a winning record is Cincinnati in the season opener. Louisville City has some issues on offense that they need to work out, but this is a team that, if the Kings play the way we’ve seen them earlier in the season, they can beat.

If Louisville wants three points out of this one, they’ll need to take care of the ball, get back on defense when Charleston comes on the counter, and try and create more space to attack in the final third. Do those three things, and they should be successful.