WHO: Houston Dynamo reserve team vs. Charleston Battery
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Blackbaud Stadium
Previous meeting: Battery defeated Dynamo, 1-0, on May 19
Radio: WQNT 1450-AM
Charleston Battery striker Heviel Cordoves doesn’t just want to put the ball in the back of the net when he scores a goal — he wants to put it through it.
At 6-3 and nearly 200 pounds, the former Cuban national team member just might do it one day.
Growing up in Cuba, Cordoves was taught to follow through on each and every shot on goal. It was a lesson the Havana native learned well. His shots, even from as far out as 25 yards, can overpower an unsuspecting keeper.
“That’s what I was taught from the first time I played,” Cordoves said through an interpreter. “Technique was very important even when I was younger. Following through with my body on every shot was very important and I think that’s why my shot is so hard now.”
The Charleston Battery will face Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo reserve team today at 7:30 p.m. at Blackbaud Stadium.
From almost the very first training session with the Battery, Charleston coach Mike Anhaeuser noticed the speed and power of Cordoves’ shot.
“It’s a very heavy shot,” Anhaeuser said. “He’s got the ability to score from distance — from as far out as 25 or even 30 yards. There are not many players that have that kind of power behind their shots.”
Cordoves has scored two highlight-reel goals during his short time with the Battery. The last goal coming during Wednesday night’s 2-2 tie against Charlotte. It was a bending rocket from just outside the 18-yard box that Charlotte keeper Eric Reed had no chance to stop. It’s a goal that his Battery teammates were still talking about during practice Friday afternoon.
“It was an absolute cracker of a shot,” said Charleston Battery captain Colin Falvey.
Cordoves has been in and out of the lineup, getting adjusted to life on and off the field since defecting from Cuba last year. In Cuba, Cordoves would train twice a week and go days without practicing. But with the Battery, Corodoves trains or plays nearly every day.
“It wasn’t something I was used to and it took me a while to get match fit,” he said. “My fitness is better and I’m starting to feel better on the field. The level of play and speed of play is much better here, and it has taken me some time to get used to it.”
Cordoves’ potential is unlimited, Anhaeuser said.
“He has a very good skill set,” Anhaeuser said. “He had a very nice assist to set up our second goal against Charlotte and his technical ability is very good for a big man. As he gets more fit, he’s going to be on the field more.”
Charleston is dire need of a win at home. The Battery is just 0-1-2 in their last three games at Blackbaud Stadium.
“We need to get back to our winning ways at home,” Falvey said. “We started the season so strong at home and we need to get three points every time we’re at home.”
The Battery defeated the Dynamo’s reserve squad 1-0 on Dane Kelly’s goal late in the first half back on May 19.
The Dynamo’s roster includes Jamaican national team member Omar Cummings, who has 39 career MLS goals in 150 matches. Cummings, 30, led the Colorado Rapids with 14 goals during the 2010 season. Cummings has been hurt and is making only his third appearance for the Dynamo this season.
The rookie season for Charleston Battery forward Ben Fisk appears to be over. Fisk, on loan from Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps, had surgery last month to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.
After missing six games, he returned to the lineup and scored a goal in last week’s 2-1 loss to Harrisburg City, but reinjured the same knee during the match.
Along with Fisk, the Battery will be without Austin Savage, defender Emmanuel Adjetey and midfielder Amadou Sanyang tonight. Adjetey and Sanyang suffered injuries during Wednesday’s rainy match against Charlotte.
“When the weather is that bad and the field is that wet, you usually get a knock or two,” Anhaeuser said. “It’s unfortunate, but we can’t worry about who’s not in the lineup.”
Heviel Cordovesdefected from Cuba to persue his dream of playing professional soccer and now is on the Charleston Battery squad. Photo taken Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in Daniel Island. (Paul Zoeller/postandcourier.com)×
Battery's Heviel Cordoves runs for the ball against Harrisburg's Greg Jordan Friday, May 31, 2013 at Blackbaud Stadium. (Paul Zoeller/postandcourier.com)×
Battery's Heviel Cordoves and Harrisburg goalie Nicholas Noble collide going for the ball Friday, May 31, 2013 at Blackbaud Stadium. (Paul Zoeller/postandcourier.com)×