Bethlehem Steel FC heads down to South Carolina for the club’s final match of the 2019 USL Championship regular season. The Steel may be out of the playoffs, but if the Battery win their midweek match then the Boys in Blue could have a chance to eliminate Charleston from making the USL Championship Playoffs. Steel FC takes on Charleston Battery on October 19. Kickoff from MUSC Health Stadium is set for 2:00 p.m. ET and fans can catch all the action live on ESPN+.
Strength at home – Charleston Battery have been excellent at home in 2019, only losing three matches at MUSC Health Stadium all year. With a record of 6-3-6 when hosting, the Battery don’t leave much opportunity to take points from this one and will look to leave even less with a potential playoff berth on the line.
Form – The Battery aren’t in the best run of form right now, especially for a team that’s still fighting for their place in the postseason. The South Carolina side has gone 1-2-2 in their last five matches, only picking up five out of a potential 15 points in that same span. The club’s one win in five contests did come while playing at home, but overall the on-field product hasn’t been great recently. That could all change when the Battery play a midweek match against Memphis 901 FC tonight, but as of right now this looks to be an opportunity for the Steel.
Players to watch
Zeiko Lewis, F #11 – Lewis is the leader in nearly all of the Battery’s attacking categories, excluding assists (3) and he’s second on the team in that one too. The Bermuda native is the team leader in goals (6), shots (43), shots on target (17) and chances created (35). He’s dangerous in front of goal and distributes the ball to his teammates to create better chances. Locking him down at the top of the Charleston formation will be key for the Steel in this match.
Kotaro Higashi, M #25 – The only man on the Battery with more assists than Zeiko Lewis, Higashi has set up four goals for Charleston this year including two game-winning helpers, also a team high. The 30-year-old midfielder has only gone the full 90 in 12 of his 24 appearances, but his distribution in the middle of the formation usually puts the Battery into a good position by the time he leaves the match.
Joe Kuzminksy, GK #1 – At 6’4”, 204 pounds, Kuzminksy is a force in net for Charleston. The goalkeeper has made 85 saves on the year heading into their Wednesday match against Memphis 901 FC and holds a goals against average of 1.40, the 11th best mark of regular starters in the Eastern Conference. He’s accounted for eight of the Battery’s nine wins and usually uses his size to make things difficult for opposing attacks.
Leland Archer – Out
Jay Bolt – Questionable
Bethlehem Steel FC heads down to South Carolina for the club’s final match of the 2019 USL Championship regular season on October 19. The showdown with Charleston Battery from MUSC Health Stadium kicks off at 2:00 p.m. ET, with fans being able to catch all the action live on ESPN+.