Charleston Battery (11-7-8) vs Richmond Kickers (6-13-8)
2017 USL Regular Season
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Stadium: MUSC Health Stadium, Charleston, SC
All-Time Series: 25-27-9
At Charleston: 7-18-5
TV: WTVR CBS 6.3 (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466)
Online: USL Match Center
RICHMOND, VA — (Friday, September 15, 2017) — The Richmond Kickers (6-13-8) will look for their second road win in a row, and fourth win in five matches as they travel to heated rivals Charleston Battery (11-7-8) this Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at MUSC Health Stadium and will be shown live on the Kickers Official Television Partner WTVR CBS 6 on their 6.3 sub channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and streamed online through the USL Match Center.
A rivalry spanning 25 years, the Kickers trail in the overall series with a record of 25-27-9. The match up this Saturday will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season and the 62nd overall. The first meeting of 2017 came June 10 as the Battery prevailed in the 60th meeting between Richmond and Charleston as Justin Portillo converted a penalty kick in the 26th minute for the only goal of the match. Richmond would get revenge August 26, taking a 3-1 win at City Stadium. This was the first win for the Kickers in the series since September 13, 2014. Heviel Cordovés put the Battery up after two minutes from an assist by Maikel Chang. Richmond controlled the rest of the match as Sunny Jane leveled the score in the 17th minute, followed by Oliver Minatel scoring in the 36th minute off an assist by Jane and Yudai Imura converting a free kick opportunity in the 90th minute.
Richmond earned their first road win of the season in their last outing, a 2-0 victory against Orlando City B at Orlando City Stadium. Mikey Minutillo netted his first goal for the Kickers in the 38th minute. From a free kick, Sunny Jane found Mallan Roberts just beyond the far post at the end line. Roberts headed the ball back in front of goal to connect with Minutillo. He headed it down to the lower right corner to open the scoring. Just before halftime, Richmond would win another free kick, this time just on the edge of the OCB box. Jane went for goal from this opportunity firing it past the keeper for his third goal in four games. With his performance in the Orlando match, Jane was named the USL Player of the Week.
Charleston comes into Saturday’s match after falling on the road to Louisville City FC back on September 2 at Louisville Slugger Field. Guy Abend found the back of the net in the 78th minute after a clearance by Charleston fell at the top of the box. Ilija Ilic controlled the ball and went for a shot that ended up getting deflected to the feet of Abend. He was able to get enough on the ball to put it to Alex Tambakis’ right and in the goal. The Battery are winless in their last ten matches dating back to a 2-0 win at home against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The Kickers will return to City Stadium September 23 to host the Rochester Rhinos and Oktoberfest, presented by the Hof. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with authentic German oompah music by The Low ‘n’ Brows, seasonal craft beers on tap and an all-inclusive Oktoberfest package for just $22 ($18 for Season Ticket Holders). The match will be available to stream online through the USL Match Center. Tickets and more information can be found at RichmondKickers.com.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Richmond: Lesotho National Team forward Sunny Jane (#10) was named the USL Player of the Week for Week 25 after setting up the first goal and scoring the second in the Kickers 2-0 road win over Orlando City B. Jane has scored three goals in the last four matches and added two assists this season. Forward Mikey Minutillo (#20) scored his first goal this season and for the Kickers in the 38th minute of the Kickers 2-0 road win at Orlando City B. The Penn State product signed with the Kickers before the 2017 season after spending 2016 with 07 Vestur in the Faroe Islands. On loan from the Kickers MLS affiliate D.C. United, goalkeeper Travis Worra (#48) picked up his second shutout of the season in the Kickers win at OCB. Worra has made five appearances for United this season, making 11 saves.
Charleston: Leading the Battery in scoring this season, forward Romario Williams (#9) has found the back of the net on 15 occasions in 18 matches. On loan from the Battery MLS affiliate club Atlanta United, Williams is in his second season with the Battery after spending the 2016 on loan from the Montreal Impact. Williams scored 10 goals in 27 games last season for Charleston. Entering his fourth season for Charleston, midfielder Justin Portillo (#20) is tied for assists this season for the Battery with 6 in 26 games. Portillo netted the lone goal for Charleston as they took a 1-0 home victory over the Kickers back on June 10. A native of Havana, Cuba, forward Heviel Cordoves (#16) has scored two goals this season in 24 appearances. His second goal came in just the second minute of the match at City Stadium against Richmond, that the Kickers would end up winning 3-1.