May 13, 2016 USL Toronto FC II--Charleson Battery vs Toronto FC II Match Preview (from charlestonbattery.com)
Match Preview: Battery vs. Toronto FC II Both the Battery and Toronto FC II come into Saturday’s match on the back of huge wins. Charleston beat Harrisburg on Monday to earn its first victory away from home this season and TFC II defeated Richmond in a midday match on Wednesday to earn its second win overall. Mike Anhaeuser puts the team through warmups The game against the City Islanders was the second of a long two-game road trip for the Battery. Charleston fell to Rochester, 3-2, in the first leg of the trip then defeated Harrisburg by the same score three days later. The team returned training at MUSC Health Stadium on Wednesday to prepare for Toronto. Prior to the victory over the Richmond at Ontario Soccer Centre on Wednesday, TFC II were winless in four straight. During the winless streak, the Young Reds lost three games in a row to FC Cincinnati, Louisville City FC, and Richmond. The three points on Wednesday put TFC II back in the mix in the middle of the table, leapfrogging Bethlehem Steel FC and Orlando City B. Mexican forward Sal Bernal scored the game-winner in the 75th minute of TFC II’s clash with Richmond earlier this week. Toronto coach Jeff Bent commented, “It was a huge win for our confidence. To get over that finish line was a great feeling. We challenged a number of our players before the game and they came up big.” SCOUTING TFC II: After a difficult start to the season, TFC II will hope the victory over the Kickers will springboard them into a bit of a run over the next few games. Toronto’s only other win of the season came in week two against Canadian rival FC Montreal. The Young Reds tied NYRB II in the season-opener and Pittsburgh Riverhounds in week three. TFC II currently sits in the bottom half of the table and will be looking to steal a few points on its three game road trip which begins in Charleston on Saturday night. Despite winning just two of its opening seven games, TFC II looks to be an improved side from the one that finished in second-to-last place a year ago. The Young Reds ended with a -26 goal differential and a record of 6-5-17 in its first year in the league in 2015. TFC II is a young team still searching for an identity in year two, but its making positive strides and carries a dangerous attacking threat in the form of Raheem Edwards. The winger has scored four of his team’s eight goals this season. Edwards is the only player on TFC II’s roster with multiple goals and is also the only TFC II player to play in every game this season. The 20-year old attacker hasn’t missed a minute of USL play yet this year and has attempted a team-high 23 shots. Despite his age, Edwards has grown into a leadership role in Toronto. The Canadian attacker has taken it upon himself to show the youngsters the ropes and spearhead the improvement at the club. TFC II is a direct affiliate of Toronto FC of the MLS, meaning the club is used to develop players. With 12 teenagers on its roster, TFC II has one of the youngest teams in the league. The youngsters are not just training dummies either, most have earned minutes this season. Among the teenagers is 16-year old TFC Academy player Shaan Hundal who has appeared in six of TFC II’s seven games this year. At 23, Molham Babouli brings a bit of experience to the young roster. Babouli played 20 games for TFC II last season and led the team in scoring before signing a contract with the first team. Toronto FC has since loaned Babouli back to TFC II for the 2016 season. Babouli has only played in two games this season and has yet to find the back of the net, but possess the ability to impact the game. Battery fans will remember Babouli from his last visit to Charleston. The 5-9 forward made his USL debut and scored the game’s opening goal in a 3-2 loss to the Battery last March. Babouli made the USL Team of the Week for his efforts in TFC II ‘s only previous visit to MUSC Health Stadium. Babouli is one of ten MLS players on loan with TFC II. Among the loanees is Christopher Mannella who also made his USL debut at MUSC Health Stadium last season. The Toronto FC homegrown player is one of biggest creative threats in TFC II’s midfield. The combination of Mannella and Edwards can cause opposing defenses trouble. BATTERY UPDATE: Charleston will be full of confidence heading into Saturday’s match following a successful road trip. Despite dropping three points at Rochester last Friday, the Battery squad will feel good about the road trip. 7/2/2015 - training Quinton Griffith in training. July 2015 With five goals in two games, the Charleston’s attacking problems seem to be solved. Although Coach Anhaeuser deployed two vastly different lineups and tactics, Charleston looked dangerous in both games last weekend. In the game versus Rochester, the Battery resorted to playing route one football and pressing the Rhinos high up the field. The strategy was affective and Charleston created the more threatening of the scoring chances as the match wore on. A late penalty for a questionable O’Brian Woodbine handball prevented the Battery from earning a tough point on the road against Rochester, the game ended 3-2. Romario Williams and Ricky Garbanzo scored Charleston’s goals. Garbanzo’s goal was his first in the league and first since his brace versus the New York Cosmos on 3/19. If the second-year forward can continue to chip in with goals, as he did throughout 2015, the Battery attack will be difficult to stop. Williams has been the catalyst of Charleston’s attack coming to life. The Jamaican center forward scored a goal in each game on the road trip to add to his team-high five goals, which is good enough for third in the league. Both of Williams goals were well taken and showed the striker’s MLS-caliber quality. The 21-year old also assisted Garbanzo’s goal last Friday bringing his point total for the season to 11, with five coming on the road trip alone. Forrest Lasso and Austin Savage were the other two goal-scorers in Charleston’s 3-2 win over Harrisburg on Monday night, each scoring their first goals of the year. For Savage, it was the first USL goal of his career, for Lasso it was his first since his dramatic extra-time game-winner in the 2015 playoffs. Maikel Chang was back to his best versus the City Islanders, the Cuban playmaker looked dangerous throughout and picked up an assist along the way. Both Lasso’s goal and Savage’s 80th minute game-winner came off of free kicks. With Charleston’s height and Justin Portillo’s delivery, the Battery have the ability to score from virtually every dead ball in the attacking third. Four of the team’s 11 goals have come from free kicks or penalties. With two games in four days and a long road trip, Coach Anhaeuser rotated the squad in the second match versus Harrisburg. The rotated starting XI included Chris Tsonis, Forrest Lasso, Dante Marini and Zach Prince playing centrally. O’Brian Woodbine and Taylor Mueller started on the bench, missing their first starts of the year. With the positive result last time out and most players available, Anhaeuser will have choices to make regarding Saturday’s starting lineup. Barring injury, the spine of the team will stay the same. Expect to see in-form Shawn Ferguson, Justin Portillo and Romario Williams playing in their usual positions. This entry was posted in News on May 13, 2016 by Sarah Cardamone.
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