All week long, Battery captain Colin Falvey has been getting some good-natured ribbing from his teammates.
Falvey, a defender, is brought forward for any free kick in scoring position, and he’s been on the end of a couple of quality scoring chances this season but had yet to score.
That drought ended Saturday night.
Favley scored in the 14th minute and keeper Andrew Dykstra had three saves to record his fourth shutout of the season as Charleston beat the Los Angeles Blues, 1-0, before a crowd of 4,144 at Blackbaud Stadium.
With the victory, the Battery imof of 4,144 at Blackbaud Stadium.
The Battery improved to 5-2-0 (15 points) and took sole possession of third place in the USL Pro Division. The Blues fell to 3-3-2 (11 points). The Battery will take on Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls Tuesday night at Blackbaud Stadium in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Falvey has built a reputation around the USL Pro Division as one of the league’s most rugged defenders, a blue-collar worker that never backs down from a challenge.
At 6-1 and 185 pounds, Falvey also is a threat to score, especially in the air.
“Colin is a central defender, so his number one job is to stop the other team from scoring,” said Charleston coach Mike Anhaeuser. “I think what gets overlooked sometimes in his ability to finish around the net. He has a bit of quality, especially in the air, that might surprise some people. He has scored for us before.”
This was Falvey’s second goal in the last three seasons for the Battery. He’s has been close on about a half-dozen chances already this season, but had been unable to put the ball in the back of the net until Saturday.
“The boys were having a bit of fun with me all week and I guess it was time I shut them up,” said Falvey, who last scored a year ago on a similar play against Pittsburgh. “I had been close and I probably should have had a goal already this season. I’ve just been a bit unlucky.”
After a foul on L.A. Blues midfielder Allan Russell, the Battery had a free kick from about 40 yards out. Charleston midfielder Jose Cuevas sent a beautiful bending ball into the six-yard box that Falvey got on the end of and slammed past Blues keeper Amir Abedzadeh for the score.
“Jose put the ball right where it had to be,” Anhaeuser said. “That was a perfect ball, but he’s got that quality to service balls like that from distance.”
Neither team was able to mount much of an attack in the second half as possession of the ball was at a premium.
The Battery had two scoring chances, one from midfielder Navion Boyd in the 68th minute and Ryan Richter just missed in stoppage time from outside the 18-yard box.