skip navigation

Three Things that mattered as the Charleston Battery claimed the Eastern Conference title

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 11/04/23, 10:20PM EDT


Battery’s Rodriguez, Markanich play key role, while defensive structure held visitors at bay in open play

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery earned the 2023 USL Championship Eastern Conference title with a 2-1 victory against Louisville City FC before a sellout crowd at Patriots Point, earning the club its first win against Louisville since the 2018 season and its first trip to the USL Championship Final since 2012.

Here are three things we took away from the contest.


The Charleston Battery’s balance and precision in the final third has been a key to the side’s success this season, and both Arturo Rodriguez and Nick Markanich delivered once again in the club’s biggest game of the season so far.

On Rodriguez’s side, there was his immaculate free kick in the fifth minute that picked out the top-left corner of the net to give the hosts the early lead. The former USL League One Final MVP has shown his ability to rise in big moments already this postseason, and his overall play made him the player of the match, not only for his attacking threat but for his solid defensive work.

Markanich, while not showing up on the scoresheet, might have been the unsung hero of the night. It was his driving run that set up the early free kick for Rodriguez to provide the opener, and Markanich was also the player brought down in the penalty area that allowed Augustine Williams to double the side’s advantage just before the hour mark. On a night when the Battery needed a positive impact, Rodriguez and Markanich shone.


The Battery’s defense was put under pressure by defending Eastern Conference title holder Louisville City FC, but the structure the hosts showed meant that very few serious chances found a way through in an impressive defensive display.

The Battery’s full backs Derek Dodson and Mark Segbers both put in impressive shifts, with Segbers winning 6 of 9 ground duels and 8 of 14 duels overall, while Dodson tied for the team-high in clearances with six alongside captain Leland Archer. But this was team driven. Chris Allan and Emilio Ycaza did good work in closing out the spaces at the top of the penalty area while Archer and Juan Sebastian Palma limited Louisville’s clear looks at goal from open play.

Six of Louisville 13 shots – including Kyle Adams’ late consolation goal – came from set pieces, a testament to the manner Charleston’s structure and discipline made life difficult for their visitors and earned another impressive postseason victory.


Louisville City FC put together a solid postseason run once again, but overall felt second-best to a Charleston side that took advantage of its chances more sharply and was strong in winning possession over the 90 minutes.

Louisville held the edge in shots and possession, but that was more an effect of the Battery’s early goal, which fed into the hosts’ natural counterattacking style and tenacious defensive work. Charleston held the edge in duels, aerial duels and kept Louisville off-balance when in possession, resulting in 26 fouls by the visitors. This season was a challenging one for the four-time Eastern Conference title winner, and this game proved a bridge too far in their postseason aspirations.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos