The Charleston Battery take the field for the first time since early March on Sunday, against Birmingham Legion to open their new stadium at Patriots’ Point.
While group H play continues on Friday with a matchup between Tampa Bay and North Carolina FC, the Black and Yellow face Birmingham in what is essentially a rearranged fixture from their original schedule, with the only change being the venue given that the Battery’s new stadium is complete. Friday’s game between the Rowdies and NCFC gives Tampa Bay two extra matches, though the Battery are still on three points, with their win against Atlanta counting toward their points total in Group play.
The Black and Yellow hold a 1-0-1 record against Birmingham, though Sunday’s visitors began their restart with a 3-0 win over Memphis 901, behind a brace from midfielder Bruno Lapa.
Among other offseason changes, former Pittsburgh Riverhounds striker Neco Brett now plies his trade in Birmingham, scorer of 32 goals in Pittsburgh colors over 70 games, and will boost his new team’s firepower up front hoping to better a 10th place finish, good enough for just below the Battery in last year’s Eastern Conference standings, three points behind Charleston, who finished on 46 points.
The Battery’s eleven signings in the offseason have, of course, had little chance to show fans what they’re made of, though if there’s any one team that should be raring to get back, with the changes they’ve made both on and off the field, the Battery will surely be that team.
The Battery have a few injury concerns going into the restart, as striker Arthur Bosua and winger Dante Marini are unavailable. Defender Rennico Clarke, who lined up against Atlanta in the original start to the campaign, is questionable.
As a reminder, it’s important to state that the Black and Yellow will play their first two games behind closed doors. The club continue in conversations with local officials on the best course of action regarding fan attendance for the other games in the regular season schedule and will keep fans updated on that process going forward.
So, after a 133 day break, the Charleston Battery will hope to reopen their league campaign, and christen their new home, on the right foot. The match kicks off at 8PM EST and will be streamed on ESPN+.
FEATURED IMAGE: ROMARIO PIGGOTT LOOKS FOR A PASS AGAINST BIRMINGHAM LAST SEASON. ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN PHOTO