By FRANCO PANIZO
The Charleston Battery booked their place in the USL Pro postseason this past weekend, and they did so in convincing fashion.
The Battery clinched a playoff berth and snapped a five-game winless skid by mauling the Rochester Rhinos, 4-0, in their penultimate game of the season on Saturday. Tony Donatelli led the way for Charleston, bagging a brace in the first half and assisting on the final goal in the match.
Even with the loss, the Rhinos also advanced to the playoffs with one game left in the season due to them not being mathematically able to fall out of the top six spots in the league table. The only thing both teams have left to play for in next week's regular season finale is seeding.
Here's a look back at all the Week 19 action in USL Pro:
CHARLOTTE EAGLES 3, PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS 0
If the Eagles were hoping to get off to a flying start in the first of two weekend games for them, they accomplished their mission. The Eagles grabbed a 3-0 victory over the Riverhounds on Friday, but the scoreline was a bit deceptive. Charlotte went up, 1-0, late in the first half, but two goals in second-half stoppage time made the match look less even than it really was.
CHARLOTTE EAGLES 2, DAYTON DUTCH LIONS 2
The Dutch Lions may have closed out the home portion of their season in one of the worst ways imaginable. Already eliminated from playoff contention, the Dutch Lions were on the brink of grabbing a shocking 2-0 upset over the Eagles and giving their fans some optimism for next year. All that went down the drain, however, as the visitors scored twice in the final five minutes to salvage a 2-2 result on Saturday in what was the Eagles' second game in two days.
LOS ANGELES BLUES 1, ANTIGUA BARRACUDA FC 0
The Blues may have just squeaked by the last-place team in USL Pro, but they will take it all the same. The Blues kept themselves alive in the playoff hunt by blanking Antigua Barracuda FC, 1-0, on Saturday. The lone goal came from Maxwell Griffin in first-half stoppage time.
RICHMOND KICKERS 2, HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS 1
The Kickers made up for a big mistake, and that helped them all but assure themselves a place in the postseason. The Kickers defeated the City Islanders, 2-1, on Saturday, but they needed a William Yomby strike in the 78th minute to help them do so after giving up their original lead due to an own goal.
USL PRO STANDINGS
1. Orlando City SC (17-1-5, 56 points, +32 GD)
2. Rochester Rhinos (11-7-5, 38 points, +3 GD)
3. Charleston Battery (12-10-1, 37 points, +10 GD)
4. Richmond Kickers (10-7-5, 35 points, +4 GD)
5. Wilmington Hammerheads (9-6-7, 34 points, +2 GD)
6. Charlotte Eagles (10-9-3, 33 points, +8 GD)
7. Harrisburg City Islanders (9-7-6, 33 points, +4 GD)
8. Los Angeles Blues (9-11-2, 29 points, -2 GD)
9. Dayton Dutch Lions (4-10-8, 20 points, -9 GD)
10. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (4-14-5, 17 points, -18 GD)
11. Antigua Barracuda FC (4-17-1, 13 points, -34 GD)
What do you think of these results? Impressed by the way the Battery and Rhinos secured postseason play? How disappointed do you think Dayton fans are right now? Do you see the Blues clinching a playoff berth?
Share your thoughts below.