With less than a month left in the USL Pro Division regular season, the Charleston Battery is starting to play its best soccer at the right time of year.
Dayton Dutch Lions vs. Charleston Battery
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Blackbaud Stadium
Records: Dayton 5-15-2 (17 points); Charleston 6-8-7 (25 points)
With eight points in their last four matches, the Battery has climbed from a tie for last place in the USL Pro Division into sole possession of ninth, just one point behind Wilmington and four behind Oklahoma City for the final spot in the postseason.
The Battery takes on the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Blackbaud Stadium.
With six teams all within five points of each other for the final two spots in the postseason, the Battery is 2-0-2 in its last four matches as it begins the final stretch drive to the playoffs.
The Battery plays five of its last six games at Blackbaud Stadium where the team is 3-1-5 and has allowed just six goals to date.
"Normally our schedule is front-loaded with home games, but this year it's the exact opposite," said Charleston Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. "If we can get points in each of those five home games, I feel pretty confident in our chances of making the playoffs."
One of the keys for the Battery's recent success has been its defense.
Since returning to the lineup on July 22, Battery keeper Odisnel Cooper has allowed just one goal in four matches. He hasn't given up a goal in the last three matches. The Battery hasn't allowed a goal in its last two road games. In the three away matches prior to those, it surrendered 11 goals.
Charleston will be without veteran defender Colin Falvey, who picked up a leg injury in the Battery's 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact Reserves last Friday. Falvey missed the Battery's scoreless draw against Rochester this past Saturday, but is expected to be back in the lineup for Charleston's match against Orange County Blues FC on Wednesday night.
"Colin is feeling better and things are looking good for him to be back early next week, hopefully for Wednesday's match," Anhaeuser said. "He's started to train a little bit and we'll see how he feels early next week."