Match: Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Charleston Battery
Date: Saturday, May 6th (7:00pm)
Venue: MUSC Health Stadium (Charleston, S.C.)(Charleston
Refs: REF-Kevin Broadley AR1- Brian Marshall AR2- James Boswell 4TH- Mark Eyrich
Steel All Time vs Battery (W-L-D): 0-1-1
What the Battery will look like: Well, Romario Williams has certainly been good hasn’t he? He’s the Battery’s leading scorer and most dangerous man, tallying six goals in the beginning of the season which puts him tied for first overall in the league. Former Reading United player (yeah, when Brendan Burke was there) Justin Portillo also features in the Battery lineup. Of course, taking your eye off Portillo opens up Maikel Chang and Autulla Guerra as well. Guerra looks like the dark horse impact player for Charleston, freeing up Williams to go wherever he wants - a factor that’s probably lead to the dynamic forward’s hot start to the season. In less words, Charleston is stacked offensively. In more words, Charleston’s 4-4-1-1 has the Battery in gulp first place in the Eastern Conference. Wins over Cincinnati and Tampa Bay as well as an absolute poaching of Rochester has Charleston riding a huge wave of momentum before they welcome Bethlehem this weekend.
What Steel will look like: Don’t look now, but another win against Cincinnati and the return of James Chambers has Steel feeling some positive vibes themselves. Chambers has an innate ability to talk guys through games, and that was invaluable in a tight win over FC Cincinnati last weekend. When asked if he felt his side brought anything different to the table compared to what Charleston had seen this season so far, Brendan Burke thought communication was key. Deciding on a high back line or a low back line is a key, and the newfound anchor of the defense Hugh Roberts will have to really get his partners to commit one way or another. Also, look for the defense shredding pairing of Chambers and Adam Najem to work some more magic that we saw a glimpse of during Steel’s last match against Charleston. If Steel can repeat the same success they had against Djiby Fall last week against Romario Williams, and make sure Charleston can’t capitalize on the set pieces they have made their calling cards in a storied history in USL, Bethlehem should have at least a draw in their hands come Sunday morning.
Look for a close game, but I’ll wager on the side of caution and go for a 1-1 draw.