Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 2-seed Louisville City FC and No. 6-seed Charleston Battery will meet at Slugger Field for a second consecutive season in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to determine which side will advance in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs on Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Louisville City FC news and notes
2016 USL Cup Playoffs So Far
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: W 2-0 vs. Richmond Kickers (OT)
Louisville took an overtime victory against Richmond on Sunday night in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as goals by George Davis IV and Chandler Hoffman sent the hosts through at Slugger Field.
The victory extended Louisville’s undefeated streak to six games, and broke a 10-game scoreless streak for Hoffman, who had led the side with 14 goals in the regular season.
Davis’ goal was his first in the USL Cup Playoffs, after having competed for Orange County Blues FC in the 2013 postseason and the Richmond Kickers each of the past two seasons.
Louisville’s 29 second-half goals in the regular season were the second-highest total in the Eastern Conference, and put the side third in the USL.
Charleston Battery news and notes
2016 USL Cup Playoffs So Far
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: W 2-1 at FC Cincinnati
The Battery advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for a second consecutive season with a comeback victory in front of a USL Cup Playoffs record crowd of 30,187 fans against FC Cincinnati.
Charleston’s game-winning goal in Cincinnati was ruled an own goal, but the Battery finished the contest with more shots on goal than the hosts, as Charleston’s back four limited FCC to only four shots on goal.
The Battery will be without defender Quinton Griffith this weekend, with the Antigua & Barbuda international having been named to his country’s squad for Caribbean Cup Qualifying this week.
Prior to Sunday’s win in Cincinnati, the Battery’s last road playoff victory came against the Rochester Rhinos in 2012, when Charleston advanced to the USL Cup Final with victory in a penalty shootout.
Louisville City FC – M Kadeem Dacres: Dacres looked sharp for much of Louisville’s victory in the previous round, and could again play a key role against the Battery with his speed out wide and ability to find a telling pass or cross into the penalty area. His combination play with Kyle Smith – who had a goal and assist when Louisville took victory in Charleston earlier this season – could play a key role in unlocking the Battery’s defense.
Charleston Battery – F Romario Williams: The Jamaican forward didn’t find the net in the Battery’s win against Cincinnati, but caused problems for the opposing defense as he finished the game with three shots, one of which was on target. Williams’ combination of strength and speed will likely get put to good use against Louisville, with Charleston likely aiming to try and hit on the counter-attack and get Williams into one-on-one situations with City center backs Paco Craig and Sean Reynolds.
2016 Team leaders
Goals: Louisville – Chandler Hoffman, 15; Charleston – Romario Williams, 10
Assists: Louisville – Kyle Smith, 6; Charleston – Maikel Chang, 6
Louisville claimed the season series with a 1-0-1 record, with its victory on May 28 bringing to an end the Battery’s 29-game USL home undefeated streak. Charleston took a 1-1 draw in the meeting at Slugger Field this season, but fell in each of its previous visits last year as Louisville took a 2-0 win in overtime to advance to last season’s Eastern Conference Final.
REF: Mark Kadlecik
AR1: Andrew Bigelow
AR2: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
4TH: Chad Collins
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