It was a long night at Highmark Stadium — especially for the teams and the few who stuck around to see the Richmond Kickers defeat the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 2-0, through the entirety of the game — interrupted by rain and then power delay that lasted over two and a half hours in all.
First, out of nowhere it seemed, as the players took the field for the second half, this happened…
As it starts pouring — the players head back to the locker room (the Hounds didn’t seem to be in a hurry)
After the storm passed, and around 8:35 p.m., skies began to clear — the teams were informed that they would have 20 minutes to begin warming up so they could resume the game which Richmond led 1-0 at half.
And then this happens…
And so we had to wait.
Shortly after the power went out — a number of emergency vehicles congregated on Station Square — over by the Sheraton Hotel.
So, I took a walk over to see what was going on.
After arriving — firefighters said that the entire power grid in Station Square and surrounding area had been out. They were only called over to the area after the alarms automatically went off at the hotel, but there was no fire.
Players started congregating outside of the locker rooms behind the West end goal. Lebo Moloto was chatting with friends. Corey Hertzog and Mauricio Vargas started signing autographs.
Team officials, and coaches congregated in the middle of the field, but at the mercy of what appeared to be an entire power grid in the area that was down — all they could do was wait.
After touching base with the officials, it was told to me that under USL rules, the Riverhounds would have three hours (until 11 p.m.) to see if the lights could come on — or the match would be forfeited in favor of the Kickers.
And then darkness came upon Highmark Stadium.
Most of the crowd at this point had left.
And some were having some fun with this on social media…
What remained were a few die hard fans — a few of us media guys and gals — and people working at the stadium.
And then, finally, around 10:15 p.m. …
And not since the infamous multi-storm delays during the 2014 U.S. Open Cup game vs MLS Chicago Fire, had the Riverhounds waited this long to resume a game.
“That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me, and that was pushing three hours,” said Riverhounds coach Dave Brandt after the match.
“But it was the same for both teams. I think players at this level, and at this level of experience handle it, you know I think it was just one of those things.”
Actually, I find it hard to believe that someone who’s been involved in the game, and been coaching for more than 30 years has never experienced a rain or weather delay of any sort.
That’s pretty interesting.
And the teams resumed play — as the lights stayed on.
Maybe — after all that — the Hounds might have been better off taking the forfeit as they gave up another goal on this fantastic individual effort by Sunny Jane to give Richmond a 2-goal advantage.
And with that — the lights really may have gone out on any chances the Riverhounds may have had for making a playoff push, as they dropped to a dismal 2-10-4 record.