This afternoon’s preseason match between the College of Charleston and the Charleston Battery at the Cougars’ house on Patriots Point didn’t exactly stand on formality. The clock stayed set on 45 minutes throughout the affair, the Battery played in their training kit, and most of the noise seemed to come from a neighboring softball game. But after a run of rough weather and tough matches for the Battery, Thursday’s friendly felt… friendly.
It ended 3-0 Battery, and though I heard a couple of nice comments in the stands about the way the College of Charleston men played in what’s supposed to be a rebuilding year for them, I don’t (yet) have enough of a context on that squad to offer an opinion.
Since the clock never ran, the only things I can tell you about the scoring was that the first goal was a midfield shot by Quinton Griffith, who sensed an opportunity that looked to be somewhere between 35 and 40 yards out and flat nailed it. Later in the first half Dane Kelly scored in the box after a nice two-man game with Ryan Richter down the right side. And then Kelly closed out the day’s account somewhere around the middle of the second half, again with an assist from Richter.
From the Battery perspective, the match appeared to be heavy on player evaluation, with an unusual lineup that featured some familiar faces in new roles.
Starters (as I recognized them from the stands): Kevin Klasila in goal. RB Zach Prince and LB John Wilson. CBs Colin Falvey and Taylor Mueller. Midfielders: Jose Cuevas, Jared van Shaik, Quinton Griffith and Ryan Richter. Forwards: Dane Kelly and Evier Cordovez.
I counted five substitutions to start the second half — Odisnel Cooper, Amadou Samyang, Ralph Lundy Jr., Mike Azira and Gibson Bardsley — and there may have been a sixth. I’m not trusting my notes on this too much.
A few observations:
Ryan Richter (who apparently came within a coin-flip of making D.C. United’s roster this month) was a beast out there today. He looked scary-good in the attack, whether passing or breaking down a defender with the ball at his feet, and he looked plenty tough after moving to right back in the second half. It’s hard to imagine him not being one of the better players in USL PRO this season no matter where Coach Mike Anhaeuser lines him up.
Zach Prince had a great long ball to Dane Kelly early in the match — a great idea, perfectly executed. He also made a couple of notable overlapping runs and just generally looked good coming forward out of the fullback spot. Not bad for a guy who is listed as a forward.
With Nicki Paterson on the bench, Jose Cuevas seemed to fill his role, playing a bit deeper than we’re used to seeing from him.
Neither Kevin Klasila nor Odisnel Cooper were seriously tested this afternoon.
The Battery play their next preseason match on Saturday at Clemson.