Thursday, May 5, 2011

Preview(s): Charleston-Pittsburgh and Charleston-Rochester

After gaining 4 points in 2 matches last weekend, the Battery now head north for another two game spell against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Rochester Rhinos. Here's what to expect:

Pittsburgh Riverhounds:
This Season: The Riverhounds have only earned 4 points in their first four matches. They defeated Harrisburg 1-0, lost to Richmond 2-1, and lost to Wilmington 3-1. Last Saturday the Battery and the 'Hounds played to a scoreless draw at Blackbaud Stadium.
Who's Playing Big: Forward Jason Yeisley and Midfielder Shintaro Harada have been providing the offense for Pittsburgh, though the goals have been few and far between. Yeisley has a huge physical presence, and Harada has been playing well from what I have seen.
Who Needs to Step Up: The back line has been playing mediocre at best. The performance against the Battery may look good when you look at the stats, but when you look at the chances that the Battery had, at least one goal should have been up on the scoreboard.

Rochester Rhinos:
This Season: Last week the Rhinos finally notched their first points of the season in a 3-2 victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions. This was after opening their first two matches with two 1-0 losses to Richmond and Wilmington.
Who's Playing Big: Rochester is an interesting situation, because in last week's match with Dayton their back line played poorly, and their forwards played well. While in the previous two matches, the back has played well while the forwards couldn't put a single goal on the scoreboard.
Who's Needs to Step Up: Rochester will just be looking to get some consistent play from their whole squad. If they can start to get some goals consistently, they will be fine this season, as they have gotten more quality than poor play from the back.

What to Expect:
Charleston looks to come out in the usual 4-4-2 (Keep in mind that this is the best possible Starting XI as of right now, and will probably not be the line up for both Matches):
Wilson Falvey Zaher Marples
Paterson Peverley Mack Armstrong
Coleman Kelly
Keith Wiggans will continue to be in goal for the Battery while Andrew Dykstra tends to that injury.

The back line has stayed consistent all year, and should stay for these matches. Last week the defense only gave up 6 shots and no goals were scored.

The Midfield will have some changes from last week. We can expect Paterson and Peverley to play, as they have been playing quality ball and should be able to build on their previous performances this year. Armstrong should be back in the line up after a week off. My one "wildcard" if you will, is JC Mack. Mack played great in last weekend's matches.

Levi Coleman and Dane Kelly are no doubt the best two candidates for the forwards. Coleman played possibly his best match of the season last week (and should have scored), and Kelly is also peaking right now, and the chemistry between him and Coleman has been wonderful in recent matches.

The match with Pittsburgh on Friday night will not be available on USL Live, but will be on 1340 in Charleston and on the Battery's website. The Rochester match will be broadcast on USL Live, and coverage will start at 7:00.

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