It took a 94th minute winner by Romario Williams to give the Battery their first three points of the season in their opener last week, but the team will be hoping that will give them momentum in their first away day of 2016. A trip to newly-formed Orlando City B.
OCB are the USL B team of former rivals Orlando City SC, who now ply their trade in MLS. One must wonder if the same rivalry will be there between the two sides when the Battery faces off against the new side.
The team are managed by former OCSC player Anthony Pulis, and for those who find that name familiar, Pulis is the son of West Brom manager Tony Pulis, who the Battery had the chance to face in a friendly in the middle of last year.
OCB’s last match (their first in history) was a tough loss against Wilmington, wherein, like the Battery’s match, was marred with a lightning delay. The result was 2-1, with center back Andrew Ribiero scoring the first and only goal.
OCB feature three of their parent club’s MLS players, goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, defender Tyler Turner and striker Brian Rochez are all on long term loans to the B team, while goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr was down for last week’s loss.
Another player to watch is 17-year-old striker Pierre da Silva, US Youth international who played 79 minutes last week, while the aforementioned Rochez came in for him off the bench.
For the Battery, full back Emmanuel Adjetey trained this week after missing the opener against Cincinnati with bruising on his foot, whilst Quinton Griffith and Naveal Hackshaw were also away on international duty. Both are expected to be available for Friday, but according to manager Mike Anhaeuser, are unlikely to start. Adjetey especially is likely to be listed as “probable”.
There are, perhaps, two interesting questions headed into this game in terms of personnel for the Battery. Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis kept two clean sheets in the Battery’s two previous games, the first against the Cosmos in the last preseason game, and in the season-opening win against Cincinnati last week, and might once again keep Odisnel Cooper on the bench this week. However, the manager established somewhat of a precedent last year of giving Cooper the starts in home matches, and giving Kevin Corby, his usual deputy, minutes away from home. We’ll see if he does so this time.
The second question being if the manager will stick with Heviel Cordoves up front, with Ricky Garbanzo in behind, or reward Romario Williams’ game winning efforts with a start. Cordoves and Garbanzo, despite their best efforts (Cordoves in particular hit the post from at least 25 yards in the first half) were kept relatively quiet against Cincy, and so the boss might look to change things up.
Nevertheless, it looks to be an exciting start to the Battery’s road campaign, and they will be hoping to pull off a result against the newcomers to continue momentum as the season kicks on.
Top Image Credit Ross Almers