WILMINGTON- With postseason hopes slipping away Wilmington Hammerheads FC look to bring the home crowd a result come Saturday night at Legion Stadium when Charleston Battery returns to the Port City for a 7 p.m. kick off.
In their first home contest in nearly three weeks, Wilmington (6-10-6) is trying to snap a six-match winless streak dating back a 2-1 victory at Charlotte in July 9. Once a contender for a spot among the top eight in the USL Eastern Conference standings, the Hammerheads have fallen off the pace now seven points from the final playoff position.
“Charleston is a very solid team and competing at the top for a reason,” said Wilmington Hammerheads FC Head Coach Mark Briggs. “It will be a great game against a rival and we plan on putting in a no nonsense performance for our fans.”
The last time these teams met was on May 21 as Charleston took home a 1-0 win. The Battery also defeated Wilmington 2-1 back on April 9 as the two clubs head into their third and final match this season.
Wilmington has accumulated 25 goals in 22 games, but the Hammerheads have found the back of the net just once in their last three outings, having been outscored 7-1 during that time frame. Bruno Perone’s five goals are a team-high.
Two players to watch for the home side this weekend include veteran midfielder Justin Moose and second-year forward Stefan Defregger. Moose has accumulated 1,519 minutes of playing time in all 22 games, with just one yellow card. His ability in the midfield remains among some of the elite players across the USL. Defregger has seen 561 minutes of action this season, earning three assists against Toronto FC II back on July 2.
Charleston has solidified itself as a playoff caliber team within the table and will have fresh legs after their match against Richmond was postponed on Wednesday due to severe weather conditions. The Battery (10-5-7) is led by Romario Williams with nine goals, while Justin Portillo (4G/4A) and Maikel Change (3G/5A) have game changing ability. Charleston has a plus-five goals for/against average.
Saturday’s match between Wilmington and Charleston will also serve as Pink Night for the home side as the Hammerheads sport pink jersey’s to benefit New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation’s Pink Ribbon Project. The auction for these pink jerseys will remain open until August 29th. Click here to bid on a jersey.