TAMPA, Fla. – The Charleston Battery will play host to Phoenix Rising FC in the 2023 USL Championship Final next Sunday night as both teams claimed their respective conference titles tonight.
Kickoff at Patriots Point will be at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM FC.
The Battery earned their first trip to the USL Championship Final since the 2012 season with a 2-1 victory against Louisville City FC as Arturo Rodriguez and Augustine Williams both found the net to continue the club’s remarkable turnaround season. Phoenix, meanwhile, rallied to claim their third Western Conference title in six seasons with a 2-1 victory against Sacramento Republic FC as Emil Cuello scored the winner in second-half stoppage time at Heart Health Park.
The 2023 Championship Final will now feature two clubs who missed out on postseason action a season ago, with the Battery and Rising FC only the third and fourth teams in league history to accomplish that feat.
Eastern Conference Final
No. 3 Charleston Battery 2, No. 5 Louisville City FC 1
Goals in either half by Arturo Rodriguez and Augustine Williams earned the Charleston Battery victory against Louisville City FC in front of a sellout crowd at Patriots Point. The Battery got out to an ideal start as Rodriguez curled home a free kick from 25 yards in the fifth minute for his second goal of the postseason. Williams doubled the lead just before the hour-mark from the penalty spot after Nick Markanich had been brought down in the penalty area for his 15th goal of the campaign. While LouCity pulled a goal back through Kyle Adams in the 90th minute, it proved too late for the visitors as the Battery saw out their first win against Louisville since the 2018 regular season.
Western Conference Semifinals
No. 6 Phoenix Rising FC 2, No. 1 Sacramento Republic FC 1
Emil Cuello’s long-range blast in the second minute of second-half stoppage time sent Phoenix Rising FC to victory against Sacramento Republic FC as the visitors claimed their third road victory of the postseason, and second after conceding the opening goal. Sacramento took the lead in the 31st minute when Russell Cicerone scored his second goal in as many games, but the visitors grabbed a lifeline with 10 minutes to go when a set piece led to an own goal by Conor Donovan. Cuello – who joined Phoenix this offseason from Sacramento – then delivered his second game-winning goal in as many outings with a tremendous strike from 25 yards to claim a place in the Championship Final.
USL Championship Final
Sunday, November 12
Charleston Battery vs. Phoenix Rising FC, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 / SiriusXM FC