Charleston Battery needs win over Dayton to secure playoff home game
It’s time to get greedy.
With a spot in the USL Pro Division playoffs already secured, the Charleston Battery is looking for a little homefield advantage.
The Battery takes on Dayton in their season finale tonight at 7:30 at Blackbaud Stadium.
If the Battery can beat the Lions in regulation, they assure themselves a home playoff game. A Charleston victory and a Rochester loss or tie and the Battery will have a bye in the opening round of the playoffs. Six teams in the 11-team USL Pro league make the postseason, with the top two teams getting first-round byes. The Battery trails Rochester by a single point in the standings heading into the final weekend. Rochester will host Pittsburgh tonight.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” said Charleston Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We kind of control our own destiny. Three points guarantees us a home game for the playoffs, so that’s our goal. We’ve got to take care of business and not worry about anyone else. We’d love to get three points and hopefully get the bye, but we need some help.”
Charleston is coming off its most convincing win of the season, a 4-0 drubbing of second-place Rochester last weekend. Charleston’s Tony Donatelli, who played for Rochester last season, scored two goals in the victory. It was the most lopsided loss for the Rhinos at Sahlen Stadium in the franchise’s two-decade history. The victory also snapped a five-game winless streak for Charleston.
“You don’t go up to Rochester and beat them by four goals,” Anhaeuser said. “It was a great win. It was also a much-needed win for us to get some confidence back. It was the most complete match we’ve played all season. We created chances the entire match and probably should have had a couple of more goals, and defensively we were very sound.”
Striker Navion Boyd, who injured his ankle last week, should be available for tonight’s match against Dayton. Boyd took part in some training drills Thursday and Friday. He has two goals and two assists this season.
“Navion will probably play, but how much remains to be seen,” Anhaeuser said. “We’ll look at him during warmups and make a determination.”
Central defender Kyle Hoffer, who missed the game against Rochester after getting his second red card of the season, will also be back in the lineup.
“Kyle is a huge part of what we do defensively,” Anhaeuser said. “It’ll be nice to have him back on the pitch.”
In their only previous match-up this season, the Battery beat Dayton, 1-0, on a goal by Jose Cuevas back in June.