CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery continued their stellar home form in 2019 with a 3-1 victory against Nashville SC on Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium. Here are three takeaways from the clash between the Eastern Conference rivals.
VINTAGE VAN SCHAIK: During his first three-season stint with the Battery earlier this decade, Jarad van Schaik was one of the most consistent central midfielders in the league. His second stint with the Battery hasn’t necessarily seen Van Schaik reach quite the same heights, but on Saturday night the quality he showed in his two-goal outing certainly could have produced some déjà vu for longtime Battery fans at MUSC Health Stadium. The crispness with which Van Schaik struck the opening goal in the 15th minute was brilliant, but it was then put in the shade by the 73rd-minute free kick that wrapped up all three points as it caromed in off the underside of the crossbar. As the Battery rebounded from a disappointing display against Bethlehem Steel FC last weekend, Van Schaik was front and center once again.
BOSUA BRINGS JOLT: Stepping into the starting lineup for the first time this season, rookie Arthur Bosua did everything that would have been asked of him as he not only scored his first professional goal but put himself around physically throughout the contest to make life difficult for Nashville’s back line. Bosua contested 23 duels and 19 aerial duels throughout the game, losing one more than he won in each category, but while he didn’t quite break even the energy the 6-foot-4 former Columbia University standout brought rubbed off on the rest of his Battery teammates as Charleston held a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal.
LACKING A SPARK: Given the makeup of the teams you would have expected that even with Nashville being on the road it would hold a healthy advantage in possession and passing accuracy. That proved to be the case, but as much as the visitors probed the Battery’s defense it took until the 89th minute from the penalty spot for there to be any reward as Nashville’s creativity went missing for much of the contest. NSC only registered three key passes in the first half, and while the second half opened more brightly as the visitors looked to find an equalizer, once the Battery’s second arrived it appeared to take the wind out of Nashville’s sails. Things had been moving positively in back-to-back wins prior to Saturday. Now next week’s visit to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and its stingy defense is looking a serious challenge.