Still feeling the sting of consecutive road losses, the Charleston Battery will attempt to recapture their form when they return home at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to host rival Charlotte Eagles at Blackbaud Stadium.
WHO: Charlotte Eagles 5-9-2 (17 points) at Charleston Battery 4-7-4 (16 points)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Blackbaud Stadium
The Battery, coming off 4-1 and 3-1 losses at Harrisburg City and Charlotte, will be happy to return to familiar surroundings. The seven goals allowed in the Battery's most recent road trip came after Charleston allowed only 10 goals in its first 13 games.
While both clubs are near the bottom of the USL Pro standings, the match does have playoff implications. Charleston (4-7-4, 15 points) and Charlotte (5-9-2, 16 points) are separated by just a single point in the standings for the final playoff spot.
"Charlotte beat us up there and we have got to get the game back," Charleston coach Mike Anhaeuser said.
Charleston will be shorthanded as midfielder Amadou Sanyang will miss the match because of accumulated yellow cards, and midfielder Andre Lewis will be sidelined after receiving a red card against Harrisburg City.
Charlotte goalkeeper Alec Kann also will miss the match due to a red card in the team's last match.
Charleston captain Colin Falvey said he expects the team to bounce back and grab a crucial three points in the standings.
"It's come to the point in the season where you need to start racking up points," Falvey said. "The home games are going to be the difference in making the playoffs or not."
Early mistakes haunted Charleston in the two road losses. At Charlotte, a defensive miscue led to a Charlotte goal just two minutes into the match. At Harrisburg City, the Battery found themselves down three goals and a goalkeeper in the first 21 minutes when Odisnel Cooper left with an injury as Harrisburg City celebrated its third goal.
Cooper is expected to be available this weekend.
"On the road, we made some errors and you can't do that," Anhaeuser said. "For us, it is more about keeping our focus. We're at home and we have a good record here. Unfortunately, we have a couple of suspensions, but that's why you have a squad."
Anhaeuser said he will make changes to his lineup to better fit the style of play needed to beat the Eagles.
"We might make one or two (adjustments) on the outside to get some guys who can play the ball into the box because Charlotte will give you space out there," Anhaeuser said. "We don't want to look behind us, but we do want to look at those things and make changes for the positive."