The Charleston Battery will begin their 2021 season with a trip to New York Red Bulls II on the 7th of May.
This is in addition to the Black and Yellow’s four games against their Eastern Conference Atlantic Division foes Tampa Bay Rowdies, The Miami FC, Loudoun United FC, Hartford Athletic, Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Charlotte Independence, who the Battery will face to open their home campaign a week after the trip to New York.
Three of the Battery’s meetings with New York come in the first two months of the season, including the season opener, the Battery host the MLS affiliate on May 23rd and then again on June 12th. As the Baby Bulls are a bit of a bogey team for the Battery, it gives the team which finished 2nd in their group H standings in 2020 a chance to get one over against a team who has become a rival in recent seasons. The last of that four game spread will be in New York on Friday August 20th.
The Battery open the home portion of their season against Charlotte on May 14th. Charlotte will then play host at their new home, Memorial Stadium on June 23rd with a meeting at Patriots’ Point exactly a month later on the 23rd of July. Charlotte will host the two teams’ final meeting on October 16th, which is right at the business end of the season.
There was nothing to be had between the Carolina rivals as they shared the points last year in their only meeting, which will give extra incentive to both teams as they look to get re-acquainted with each other in 2021.
Another team who the Black and Yellow will meet again in 2021 is Pittsburgh, an Old Guard rival. The sides meet first on July 7th at Patriots’ Point and August 6th. The Battery then travel to Highmark Stadium on September 25th, and then again to finish the Away portion of their season on October 23rd.
The Battery face off against Hartford Athletic at home on July 17th and October 10th, and travel to Connecticut on August 17th and September 1st. The Battery beat Hartford twice in 2019, by scores of 2-1 and 3-2 respectively.
The Battery meet Loudoun United away first, travelling to the DC United affiliate on June 8th, before a second meeting on June 26th, and then two games in three weeks to finish their four game set on July 27th and August 13th. The only game between the two sides in 2020 was cancelled due to a COVID outbreak.
The Black and Yellow will face The Miami FC for the first time on June 18th at home, before trips to Florida on August 1st and September 18th, before closing out their home schedule against them on October 30th.
The Battery won twice, drew one and lost one against Miami in 2020, but these results proved to be perhaps the most important of the season. One win was the Battery’s biggest of 2020, while the other earned them a playoff berth through second place in Group H. However, the loss that came near the tail end of the season removed the Battery from top seed contention in a heartbreaking loss. This put them at a disadvantage in the playoffs, and so the Battery will have a point to prove a year on.
A rivalry began between the Battery and Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2020, which will be renewed beginning on July 2nd at Al Lang stadium. The Battery will then welcome the Eastern Conference Champions to Patriots’ Point on September 7th, before a home and home during crunch time in the campaign on October 2nd at Patriots’ Point and at Al Lang on October 7th.
The Battery won three games against Tampa last season, including giving the Rowdies their first loss of the season at Patriots’ Point last year, but Tampa got revenge in the playoffs, ending the Battery’s season at the conference Semifinal stage, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of Black and Yellow fans despite a very successful regular season.
The remaining four games will be played against cross-regional and cross-conference games, which throw up some interesting possibilities for the Battery.
A meeting with Atlanta United 2 on September 15th renews a matchup that the Battery have to this point enjoyed. The two teams were a part of 2020’s Group H, and the Battery started the season with three points against Atlanta before the season was shut down. ‘
The other three games will be against Western conference sides, as the LA Galaxy II come to Patriots’ Point on June 4th, Orange County SC visit on August 28th and the Battery will travel to New Mexico to face New Mexico United on July 12th.
The matchup against New Mexico looks to be the most interesting matchup, as former Battery coach and College of Charleston graduate Troy Lesesne and his first assistant coach and former Battery player Zach Prince will face their former club for the first time at the helm of the western conference side.
And so, for multiple reasons, the 2021 season looks to have its own set of trials and tribulations as the Black and Yellow look to build on a successful 2020 campaign. The year begins for the Battery on May 7th against New York Red Bulls II before their home opener against the Charlotte Independence in front of a 50% full Patriots’ Point on May 14th.
TOP IMAGE: CHARLESTON BATTERY CELEBRATE SCORING A GOAL IN 2020. CHARLESTON BATTERY PHOTO.