Summer bears many traditions: long days, roadtrips, beach visits, and Atlanta United playing the Charleston Battery in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Yes, Atlanta drew Charleston for the third straight time, but after opening in Kennesaw in 2017 and 2018, it will travel to MUSC Health Stadium and start its pursuit of the trophy on the road. Of course, these two sides know each other well: Charleston was Atlanta’s USL affiliate in 2017 before ATL UTD 2 was launched last year.
We turned to Johnathan Ace, a friend of DSS who runs the Black and Yellow Post, to get his take on the state of the Battery right now and why they may be ready to spring an upset against a very familiar opponent.
How would you describe the way this season’s gone thus far from Charleston? Taking a look at the results, it appears that it’s been unable to put a solid string of results together.
This season’s been very strange so far. As always, we’ve been very solid at home and have been more expressive as a team since last season. And yet, for all of our success at home, it’s the exact opposite on our travels. We’ve lost three games, all coming away from home, and have travelled in the two previous rounds of the Open Cup, requiring two late goals against Greenville Triumph and penalties against Nashville. While we have improved in attack, we haven’t quite got going away from home yet.
The Battery host one of the most popular preseason tournaments in the country and have had a number of first-division teams participate, but this is the first time in a while where they have hosted an MLS side in a match that has actually counted. What is the level of expectation down there in the Lowcountry?
The Battery have a penchant for the upset in the Open Cup, especially at home. The feeling amongst many is that it will be a tough game, but having this game at home, unlike our previous two matches against the Five Stripes in USOC, might just balance the scales a bit.
Who should Atlanta United fans keep an eye on throughout the match on Tuesday that can really make a difference for the Battery?
The Gold Cup at this time for a USL side is forever a gift and a curse. We’ve had injuries at all positions this year, and the Gold Cup, as with Josef Martinez with Venezuela, has taken Bermuda’s Zeiko Lewis, statistically our best attacker, and Trinadad and Tobago’s centerback Leland Archer.
The players we do have are Romario Piggott, who’s created a nice mirror of Lewis on the opposite side, as well as Dante Marini to inject pace into the game. Striker Ian Svantesson has found a way to be productive this year after our offensive retooling in the offseason has offered him more service, and defensive stalwart Taylor Mueller returned from a broken nose to play 90 minutes in a 3-1 win at the weekend.