To get everyone ready for Atlanta United’s inaugural U.S. Open Cup match with the Charleston Battery, we spoke with Black & Yellow Post’s Johnathan Ace to get his take on Charleston’s start to the USL season, the club’s affiliation with Atlanta United, and the odds we see Romario Williams and Jeffrey Otoo tonight.
DSS: How has Charleston looked so far in USL?
BYP: The Battery have so far done extremely well this season. Atop the Eastern conference, they’re 8-2-3 and have a four point cushion with a game in hand. They’ve found a solid center forward partnership with Romario Williams and Attaula Guerra, to go along with an already solid defense, which has been a strongpoint for a few years now.
DSS: What effects has the partnership with Atlanta United had on the Battery?
BYP: From what I’ve gathered listening to both sides of the equation, the affiliation has been largely successful. This is probably most evident in what we saw early in the season when Mikey Ambrose spent time in Charleston when the Battery was in need of a left back to deal with suspensions. The affiliation has also been key for ATL’s promising youth players. The loanees aren’t guaranteed starters, but feature prominently in one of the USL’s best sides as they look to gain experience for MLS. An example being Andrew Carleton, who spent a good bit of time in Black and Yellow before making his debut this season at Bobby Dodd. The Battery have always been a great source of future MLS talent, most notably Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle, John Wilson, and Mike Azira, and Atlanta know that. It’s ideal for them to have such a great system only a short drive away.
DSS: Will we see Romario Williams or Jeffrey Otoo featured today?
BYP: Romario is the Battery’s leading scorer, but he’s on Jamaica duty at the moment. Otoo has largely been used as a sub, but out previous Open Cup games have featured a good bit of rotation. Both lineups will be interesting to see.