The Charleston Battery‘s 2017 schedule is now out in full, and the USL Schedule from late March until mid-October will consist of 30 teams and 480 matches, welcoming teams in from NASL, as well as a few new expansion sides.
As for the Battery themselves, four of the first five, and six of the first ten matches are at home. The Battery had an almost year-long unbeaten streak at home, which ended last season about midway through. If that home form can continue this year, that could prove to be crucial in the latter stages as we look to put together a playoff run late in the season.
After just two away matches from the end of March until mid-May (visiting Southern Derby rivals Charlotte and newcomers Tampa Bay respectively) we have three away games in a week between the 20th and the 28th, with visits to Harrisburg, Bethlehem, and 2016 USL Champions New York Red Bulls II, before returning home to face Louisville City on June 3rd.
The week after that LCFC clash is our first meeting with rivals Richmond Kickers, who also celebrate their 25th season this year, at home on June 10th. After finishing June with clashes against FC Cincy and Toronto FC II, we have two home games against Tampa and Louisville again before another three-game stretch away from home against St. Louis, Tampa and Pittsburgh over 11 days from 7/15-7/26.
August is usually when it gets a little crazy, and will prove vital to our playoff hopes. But with only one home game against NYRBII between visits to TFCII, Rochester and Richmond, we’ll have to make it count.
There’s two home and two away games each in September, when home ties against Charlotte and Richmond are sandwiched between visits to Louisville and Orlando.
A home game against Harrisburg is sandwiched between visits across the border to Ottawa before concluding the season away to Charlotte in October. Of course, it’s a given that we hope our year will continue after that, but only time will tell.
A strong start, given the amount of early home games, is a must for the Black and Yellow. The rivalry games against Richmond, Charlotte, and OCB are definitely also ones to look forward to, and August will be very important, given the tough run of fixtures, and how important the month usually is for playoff hopes. That said, here’s to a successful 2017.
TOP IMAGE: BATTERY PLAYERS CELEBRATE A GOAL DURING THE 2016 SEASON. PHOTO CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY