USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery hit the road on Wednesday to Jacksonville, Fla. for a pair of scrimmages this weekend in northern Florida. After facing professional opposition for the first time this past Saturday against Saint Louis FC, the Battery will take on Miami FC on Thursday and Jacksonville Armada FC on Saturday at Patton Park.
As the Battery continue to come together, Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser is looking forward to the challenges a trip like this can bring.
“[An extended road trip] is more of a test,” Anhaeuser told CharlestonBattery.com’s Dan Conover. “When you’re on your home pitch, you’re comfortable. You’re where you sleep. When you go down there, things aren’t going to be perfect. You have problems. So you see what your team is made of. Can we have success? Performance is not the be-all end-all [in preseason], but we’re playing two good teams. So we’re going to match up, see where we are, see what we maybe need to work on. This should be a perfect gauge for us.”
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Anhaeuser expects some of his players will start to see a full 90 minutes in the scrimmages, as they work up to the club’s season-opener against FC Cincinnati at MUSC Health Stadium. For third-year player Justin Portillo, heading on the road will help the new players to the squad get accustomed to one another ahead of the road trips that are still to come in the regular season.
“When we go on the road, we get to know each other, get to know each other’s playing styles,” Portillo said. “It also prepares us for the season when we do go on the road, environments where we don’t have our fans behind us.”Kickoff between the Battery and Miami FC is set for 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, while the scrimmage with the Armada will take place on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Also set to join the Battery in Jacksonville are Tulsa Roughnecks FC, as they continue their preseason tour of Florida, with David Irving’s side also set to meet Miami and Jacksonville during its stay.