Coach Mark Briggs would have probably liked to see more offensive punch from his side in its home opener, but Wilmington Hammerheads FC showed solid resolve to earn a point from a good Richmond Kickers side on Friday. After 2015’s disappointment, Wilmington appears to be back on the right path – and a much more difficult club to break down this season.
Heading into week three in the United Soccer League (USL), the Hammerheads travel to MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday, April 9 for a date with Charleston Battery.
Charleston moved into the USL Top 10 Power Rankings at No. 8 following a scoreless draw at Orlando City B. The Battery did everything but score against Orlando as Charleston held a 21-3 shot advantage on a rainy night in Melbourne, Florida.
The Battery will certainly create chances this season, but after needing a stoppage-time goal to defeat Cincinnati in its opener, Charleston will have to be more clinical moving into the home contest against the Hammerheads.
Through two games played, Wilmington and Charleston enter the first of three regular season matches this weekend. Both sides have four points at 1-0-1 overall, tied with New York Red Bulls II and Richmond Kickers for top spot in the USL Eastern Conference.
After expressing disappointment in his team’s effort through the opening 20 minutes against Richmond, Briggs was pleased with his clubs pace of play and tempo in the scoreless draw at Legion Stadium.
Logan Miller and Ashani Fairclough each have one goal on the year coming off the season opening result, while Mael Corboz has one assist. Corboz has been used on a majority of set pieces and corner kicks through two matches, with veterans Tom Parratt, Bruno Perone and Ferrety Sousa showing stability on the back line.
UNCW alum Michael Mecham made his first start for Wilmington Hammerheads FC in the defense this past week and showed great presence in his pro debut.
Kickoff between Wilmington and Charleston is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Hammerheads return to the Port City for the beginning of a two-match home stand during a Sunday matinee against FC Montreal on April 17.