USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Friday, February 26, 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery host Saint Louis FC on Saturday afternoon in an all-USL preseason encounter at MUSC Health Stadium. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. ET, with free admission to the public.
The Battery are coming off a solid 3-1 victory against the College of Charleston in their last outing, as Coach Mike Anhaeuser puts together the pieces to his squad for the new season. As the Battery haven’t had the Carolina Challenge Cup this year, that process is moving a little more slowly with four weeks to the start of the season.
“There are four or five spots that are going to be filled, and it’s just taking a little more time this year,” Anhaeuser told CharlestonBattery.com. “But the guys that we have in are pretty good, and they’re starting to get a little continuity, which you saw last week at the College of Charleston.
“You saw last week, I had those 28 [players], but we made the decision — not to not keep them, they’re still on the table, they’re players who could be back — but we’re just trying to work it out. With all the changes and everything going on, we just have to take it a little slower. And yeah, it’s easier when you have MLS games. Now the work is being done behind the scenes.”
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Saint Louis, meanwhile, is coming off a midweek 2-0 defeat to the same College of Charleston squad. As the side looks to build toward its second season in the USL, Coach Dale Schilly will likely be looking for a more positive result against a side Saint Louis took a dramatic 3-2 victory against late last season at Wide World Technology Soccer Park.
“The game against College of Charleston was exactly what we expected,” Schilly said on Friday via the club’s Facebook page. “A preseason match where sustaining a consistent performance and theme was the problem of the day. The first half had glimpses of quality, team based defending where we appeared cohesive and organized. We showed glimpses of good transition and with some better decisions in the final third, we may have scored some goals. However, the overall effort and intensity in the first half by some of the guys was not at an acceptable level.
“The second half was the polar opposite. We had very good intentions and created a number of high quality chances, but couldn’t find the goal. Seeing individual and collective issues this early in the process is exactly why preseason trips can be so beneficial. Now we have to manage yesterday’s performance and prepare for March 26.”