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3 Keys to know as the undefeated Charleston Battery visit Birmingham Legion FC

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/14/24, 6:00PM EDT


A potent Battery attack looks to continue its success, and the spotlight falls on two top midfield talents

Birmingham Legion FC's Enzo Martinez and the Charleston Battery's Aaron Molloy are likely to be key players for their respective sides as they clash at Protective Stadium.

The USL Championship Eastern Conference leading-Charleston Battery will take their undefeated record on the road on Wednesday night when they face Birmingham Legion FC at Protective Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Golazo Network.

Here are three storylines you should know going into the top-five clash.


When the Charleston Battery last took the field in league action in Week 9, their 1-0 win against Hartford Athletic saw Nick Markanich continue his scoring streak to five consecutive league games but brought and end to the run of fellow forward MD Myers at four games. So, what did Myers do next? Put up a hat trick in the Battery’s 3-2 victory against South Georgia Tormenta last Tuesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to send Charleston through after extra time.

Markanich and Myers have now combined for 21 goals across all competitions this season, highlighting a partnership that has come together in impressive style since Myers’ arrival from New York City FC II this offseason. Nicknamed “Doc” – MD, get it? – Myers has served as the No. 9, giving Markanich the freedom to play as a second forward to lethal effect. Birmingham’s defense withstood Tampa Bay’s Manuel Arteaga and Cal Jennings on Saturday night but is in for another big test here.


Since he joined Birmingham Legion FC before the 2022 season, Enzo Martinez has been inarguably the club’s most important player. He’s recorded a combined 44 goals and assists in 79 regular season appearances – only five off the club record currently held by Neco Brett – continuing the legendary career he’s put together in the Championship that now spans a decade.

On Wednesday night he’s set to square off with the player currently considered by most as the most influential midfielder in the Championship. Aaron Molloy has delivered as expected for the Battery since his consecutive All-League First Team selections at Memphis 901 FC, pulling the strings in midfield with the most passes (712) and touches (959) of any player in the league. Both Molloy and Martinez are complete packages as players, and which can influence the game more can tilt things in his side’s favor.


The Charleston Battery haven’t just been among the most prolific goalscorers in the Championship so far this season, they’ve been getting work done early. Charleston has led the league with 16 goals in the opening halves of games this season. On top of that its five goals in the opening 15 minutes and six goals between the 16th and 30th minute are also both currently the most in the league in those segments of play.

Contrast that to Legion, which hasn’t had the best defensive record early in games. While not the worst in the league, Legion has allowed seven first-half goals, tied for fourth-most in the league this season, six of which have been conceded in the opening half-hour. Birmingham has shown the ability to rally, not least at home against FC Tulsa in its last home outing. Falling behind against the Battery early, though, feels like it would be a serious challenge to come back from, which means the hosts must be on their game from the off.

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