Thursday, June 23, 2011

Open Cup Exit; Big Weekend for Battery

A frustrating night for Charleston
Well, the good news is we don't have to worry about facing FC Dallas next Tuesday.  Unfortunately, the bad news is that we've been put out of the US Open Cup.  The Battery lost 0-1 to Orlando City Tuesday night.  The frustrating thing is that Charleston outshot and outplayed the Lions for nearly the entire match.  Nearly...The Battery had several good chances in the opening minutes and again at about the half hour mark.  Sadly, none of those chances translated to the scoreboard.  It was the 39th minute when Orlando scored the only goal of the night.  Battery keeper Andrew Dykstra perhaps misread the play and was beaten by Rob Valentino after having come off his line.  Charleston immediately pressed to level the score and had even more opportunities in the second half of play.  But it was not to be; Orlando had scored the only goal they needed.  Embarrassingly, they are the first non MLS team to leave Blackbaud with an Open Cup win.  This is the first year since 2005 that Charleston has failed to advance to the third round of play.

With little time to dwell on the loss, our boys are gearing up for another crucial double-header weekend.  As we've crossed the halfway point in the season, the points are beginning to matter.  Friday night, we travel to Wilmington where only a month ago, the Hammerheads handed us our most humbling defeat of the season.  The Battery will be looking to restore a little pride and also cement their place in the upper half of the American Division standings.  This may prove quite a challenge as Wilmington boast five wins and only one loss at home this year.  They are three points adrift of Charleston but have three games in hand.  Its also worth mentioning that this is a Southern Derby fixture, so local bragging rights are at stake as well.  This is a must-win for Charleston!
Let's take it to 'em in primtime!
Saturday evening, the Battery returns home to face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.  The Dogs are struggling this year and we desperately need to take advantage.  Stamina will come into play considering the match in NC the previous night, but this is a game that Charleston should not lose.  With the Open Cup no longer on the horizon we really need to focus on climbing the table in the secord half of the season.  Should be an interesting weekend of football!  We need to take maximum points from these two games.  Lets Go BATTERY!!

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