Ahead of Charleston Battery’s clash with Pittsburgh Riverhounds, top scorer Augi Williams answered our questions this week. Having joined the Battery after stints with LA Galaxy II and San Diego Loyal, Williams brought USL experience to a forward line that has been one of the Battery’s shining lights after a poor start to the season. Read on for what he had to say:
BYP: The slow start to the season is something no one can avoid, does being the top scorer within the team help your confidence knowing you can provide for the team when called upon?
AW: I’m very excited that I was able to score a brace [last match against Indy XI], it helped my confidence, and helped to get things moving in the right direction. Collectively, things have been going in a way we didn’t expect, but I’m always on the go, so whenever I have an opportunity to help the team, whether it’s scoring goals or making sure I’m defending the right way, I’m making sure to [put in] the details to make sure I’m helping the teammates.
BYP: After stints in the Western Conference this is your first experience in the East, what are the differences you see in the two as a player?
AW: Yeah, moving to the East has definitely been a challenging moment in my career. When I came here, I heard that the teams are more compact defensively, and for me, they’re much tougher than the West. You can see the challenges that I’ve faced up against, like the Rowdies… They’re more mature teams than in the West because you’ve got a lot of teams affiliated there with the MLS Western Conference and things like that. So I think, for me it’s just been about being focused and being patient, because as a striker you have to be patient for the opportunities that you get. But I’m grateful for the opportunities that I’ve got here and as a professional you have to be able to adapt and go through different circumstances.
What are some things you like to do around Charleston, how are you settling in off the pitch?
(Laughs) I’m more of an inside guy right now! I’m indoors a lot these days, but sometimes, me and the guys, we go to King Street for a bite to eat… I haven’t explored as much as I want to yet, but I’m going to. I haven’t done much by myself yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about the city and the culture and how the diversity is.
Then who are some of the guys you like to go around town with?
Guys like EJ (Johnson), Geobel (Perez) comes a long as well, sometimes we go downtown where other guys like Leland (Archer) and that.. I want DZ (Harmon) to come out! He hasn’t come out yet! (laughs) I’m looking forward to that!
You went to him for a cut once, how was that?
I did! I was very… Kinda hectic when he said he was a barber, because I’ve never had the experience of a professional footballer that’s my teammate cutting hair, but when I saw what he did for the other guys I decided to give him a chance. From that day, he’s been my guy that I go to every time I need a cut. I need to go see him tomorrow to get a cut, ’cause he’s the only one cutting me lately. I’m the only one who gives him a tip by the way!
It’s been rather difficult for everyone to gel together, as someone who is spearheading the attack what do you think everyone could do more of to help the team as a collective?
I mean, if you look at the Indy game, the mentality was great, first of all. The things that we’ve been focusing on are the 1-v-1 defending, because we know in that game it affected us a lot, especially with the goals that we let in, so coming into training and working on the things that we’ve struggled with has been better, making sure we get those opportunities that we’ve created to score early. You can see coming into training, the positivity, the mindset of the guys really wanting to turn things around, we can see there are things coming that are positive. We’re hoping that we start off in the right way in this match against Pittsburgh and we’re looking forward to that and giving the fans something to be happy about and put a smile on their faces.
The Battery next face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Home on Saturday, June 11th. Kick off is at 7PM and if you can’t make it to Patriot’s Point, the match will be streamed on ESPN+.
TOP IMAGE: AUGI WILLIAMS APPLIES THE HEADED FINISH FOR HIS FIRST GOAL OF TWO AGAINST INDY XI. ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO