Having won two league titles since 2010, the Charleston Battery has become the hunted rather than the hunter this season.
April 13 at Richmond L, 4-1April 20 Antigua 7:30 p.m.April 27 Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.May 1 at Harrisburg 7 p.m.May 3 at Dayton 7 p.m.May 11 Wilmington 7:30 p.m.May 14 at Charlotte 7 p.m.May 19 at Houston TBAMay 25 Rochester 7:30 p.m.May 31 Harrisburg 7:30 p.m.June 5 Charlotte 7:30 p.m.June 8 Houston 7:30 p.m.June 15 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.June 16 at Rochester 4 p.m.June 22 Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.July 5 Orlando City 7:30 p.m.July 11 at Orlando City 7:30 p.m.July 13 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.July 19 Dayton 7:30 p.m.July 24 Phoenix 7:30 p.m.July 27 Los Angeles 7:30 p.m.Aug. 2 at Wilmington 7:30 p.m.Aug. 3 Richmond 7:30p.m.Aug. 8 at Los Angeles 10 p.m.Aug. 10 at Phoenix 10 p.m.Aug. 15 Antigua 7:30 p.m.
The Battery found that out the hard way last week at Richmond in a 4-1 loss to the Kickers in the season opener.
Tonight’s GameWHO: Charleston Battery (0-1) vs. Antigua Barracuda FC (1-0)When: 7:30 p.m.Where: Blackbaud StadiumTickets: (843) 971-4625
Charleston will take on Antigua Barracuda FC at 7:30 p.m. today in the club’s home opener at Blackbaud Stadium.
The Battery won the USL Second Division title in 2010 and captured their fourth overall USL league title last summer, beating Wilmington, 1-0, in the USL Pro Division championship game. The recent success has made the Battery a target for other teams in the league.
“We know we’re going to get everyone’s best game, their best shot,” said veteran Charleston defender John Wilson. “When you’re the defending champions that’s what you have to expect every time you step on the field. But I like being in this position. It means that we’ve been a successful club.”
Charleston coach Mike Anhaeuser said the team has put last week’s loss behind them.
“We have to forget about what happened against Richmond,” Anhaeuser said. “We want to get back on track and start on the right foot at home. Teams are going to push a little harder and play a little harder against us and we have to be prepared for that.”
Earlier in the week, the Battery was loaned midfielder Ben Fisk and defender/midfielder Emmanuel Adjetey from the Vancouver Whitecaps Premier Development League (PDL) squad.
“We feel like Ben and Emmanuel are going to help us and give us some depth in the midfield,” Anhaeuser said. “Ben’s probably a little further along than Emmanuel and will probably see a little bit more playing time.”
Jose Cuevas, the reigning USL Pro rookie of the year, was nearly unstoppable during the Battery’s nine preseason matches. Cuevas had seven goals in the preseason matches, including one against Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire in the Carolina Challenge Cup.
However, Cuevas injured his hamstring against Richmond and will not play tonight.
“Jose is a big part of our attack,” Anhaeuser said. “But I’m confident that we have guys that can step up and put the ball in the back of the net. We’ve got five, six, seven guys that are capable of getting forward and scoring.”