The Charleston Battery return home this week to take on Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Friday. Kickoff at Patriots Point is scheduled for 7 pm and the club will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Night at the stadium, presented by Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Charleston and Rio Grande have not previously met before, making Friday’s fixture the inaugural match between the two. RGV FC played their first season in the USL Championship in 2016 as part of Houston Dynamo as a hybrid affiliate but became an independent club in December 2020.
Rio Grande enter Friday’s match on a three-game win streak and most recently defeated Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at home, 1-0. RGV FC’s Jonas Fjeldberg broke the match open in the 29th minute with a goal that proved to be the match-winner. The Texas club are currently seventh in the Western Conference table and will look to hold onto their playoff position as Oakland Roots SC and Monterey Bay FC are right behind them.
The Battery return home looking to build upon their success at Patriots Point this month. At home, Charleston defeated New York Red Bulls II and the Tampa Bay Rowdies to open the September schedule. The Black and Yellow succumbed 5-0 to Memphis 901 FC last Friday and will look to get back to winning ways this Friday.
Augi Williams and Fidel Barajas are off on international duty with Sierra Leone and the Mexico U-17 national teams, respectively, and will not be available for the Battery.
Fjeldberg is one to watch in Rio Grande’s squad. In addition to scoring the match-winner in their last game, he is the club’s leading goalscorer (six) this season. He has also registered one assist and 14 chances created.
Aidan Apodaca will be one to keep an eye on for Charleston, as he will look to fill the void on offense while Williams is away. Apodaca is the team’s second-highest goalscorer with five and has the second-most chances created with 25.
Charleston will be without Leland Archer, Mauro Cichero and DZ Harmon for red cards issued in the Memphis match. Head Coach Conor Casey and Assistant Coach Chris Duvall will also be absent from the contest because of red cards received in Memphis.
Friday will see the return of Frank Nodarse to the Lowcountry after the Cuban defender played three matches with the Battery in 2021 on a short-term loan.
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