Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (10-3-7, 37 points)
vs. Toronto FC II (1-15-3, 6 points)
GAME DAY UPDATES / LIVE BLOG
8:45 – GOAL – what a build up. Neco Brett with his 11th of year.
Set up by Greenspan lunge to stop ball into box. Forbes worked magic in middle of field then found dynamic François who cut it into box and sent ball to Brett who banged a one-timer home.
SUBS: In for Riverhounds
Thomas Vancaeyezeele & Christiano François
with Banjo and Tobi Adewole are out
Banjo shaken up — will come out. 58′
Early in 2nd half — Kevin Kerr gets into box, but swarmed by TFCII defenders who back track well enough to deny shot attempt.
Stats of note:
- Possession: Pgh 59/41
- Shots: 3-3/on target 0-0
- Corners: Pgh 5-4
- Crosses: Pgh 8-5
- Passes: Pgh 235-167
7:52 p.m. – Ray Lee chips a ball into left side of box for Banjo, who’s tripped up going for ball. But no call as TFCII gets goal kick awarded. 45′
Here’s another look at that one…
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) August 5, 2018
7:50 p.m. – TFCII’s Shaan Hundal gets behind the Hounds backline to ball over the top — comes close to beating keeper Lynd to ball, but nice quick reaction play by Lynd to secure ball just inside 18.
7:45 p.m. – Forbes nearly swung his latest corner in — but it evades everyone.
Somebody has to get in on the end of one of those — right?
7:43 p.m. – Banjo’s had a few balls played his way but opting to play ball back. Wouldn’t hurt for him to turn and take a shot or a touch forward in one of those instances.
7:39 p.m. – Longest wait of the year for corner kick finally ends — as Forbes in swinging ball is punched away by GK Caleb Patterson-Sewell
Hounds come right back — Kerr ball in to far post for Lee is defended well, but forces another corner. Before it’s taken the teams will have a short hydration break
Franke is fouled about 45 yds from goal. Free kick played to far post area for Tobi Adewole who hits one-time shot off bar! 29′
Hounds get it forward (finally!) — as Banjo calmly keeps possession going at MF, plays it wide and accurate to left side. Ray Lee service in creates corner opp. 28′
7:33 p.m. – Toronto setting up its third corner of match. These young Reds came to play.
After they run a full sweeping overlap set play, Joe Greenspan is there to head the service away.
7:30 p.m. – TFCII are working fairly well defensively as a unit and battling hard for every ball, causing the Hounds some fits right now. Pittsburgh still struggling where they did the other night in stringing together passes. 22′
7:20 p.m. – watching Hounds formation — mostly looking like 3-4-3 tonight. Both Ray Lee and Noah Franke as wide players that are shifting from midfield to tucking in as outside defenders.
7:14 p.m. – TFCII with corner chance and wicked ball in that Hounds keeper Dan Lynd up by near post can’t punch away cleanly but even as ball gets by, Reds can’t get a clean shot on target
7:08 p.m. – a few seconds (25 to be exact) in and Neco Brett almost scores his fifth goal of season vs TFCII. Shot from left side sails wide right
6:48 p.m. –
for good measure, here’s TFCII’s starting line-up…
Toronto FC II
Caleb Patterson-Sewell – Lars Eckenrode, Kyle Bjornethun, Robert Boskovic, Tim Kübel – Gideon, Waja , Dante Campbell – Luca Uccello, Aidan Daniels, Matthew Srbely – Shaan Hundal
Borja Angoitia (G), Malyk Hamilton, Jordan Hamilton, Terique Mohammed
6:35 p.m. – Did a little pregame Facebook live chat with Matt …
— Matt Gajtka (@MattGajtka) August 4, 2018
6:15 p.m. – Here’s the Hounds starting XI:
GK – Dan Lynd
D – Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Hugh Roberts, Noah Franke, Ray Lee
MF – Mouhamed Dabo, Kenardo Forbes, Neco Brett
F – Kevin Kerr, Kay Banjo
Mike Kirk (G) – Jordan Dover, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Ben Zemanski, Ben Fitzpatrick, Christiano François, Dennis Chin
5:05 p.m. — Here’s Matt with some scoop…
From pre-match chat with @RiverhoundsSC coach Bob Lilley …
• Loved how team was engaged in 3-0 win over Richmond on Wednesday
• Wants to see sloppy passes of past 2 matches cleaned up
• Noah Franke earned another start; Jordan Dover will rest@PghSoccerScribe @MonGoals
— Matt Gajtka (@MattGajtka) August 4, 2018
Saturday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m.
Live Blog here (lineups posted approximately 6:15 p.m.)
Twitter: @pghsoccerscribe | #PGHvTOR | #UNLEASH
Stats: USL Match Center
• Fresh off snapping a two-game skid last time out, beating Richmond 3-0 on Wednesday, the Hounds will look to continue their past success against the Young Reds on Saturday. Already with two wins this season against Toronto, Pittsburgh has dominated the head-to-head series since 2015. The Hounds are 7-0-2 in nine meetings all-time, including 4-0 at home, and hold a goal differential of plus-15, while TFCII are a minus 26.
• Heading into Saturday’s match, the Hounds (37 points) are currently in third place in USL’s Eastern Conference standings, sitting behind FC Cincinnati (44 points) who host Nashville SC (30 points) and Charleston (38 points) travels to North Carolina FC. Pittsburgh has played one less game than both Cincy and Charleston. Fourth place Louisville City (35 points) host Indy Eleven (31 points) on Sunday evening.
• Forward Neco Brett has been a driving force in both victories this season, with four of his 10 goals on the year coming against Toronto. Netting a brace earlier this week against Richmond, Brett is once again heating up at the right time and will be a threat to net goals in back-to-back games for a third time this year.
MORE ON TFCII
The Young Reds remain in a familiar spot — at the bottom of the USL’s Eastern Conference standings with merely six points, accounting for three draws and win over upstart Nashville SC.
While the senior club has proven to be a top caliber MLS club, they continue to operate its second team by giving many young players, many of Canadian decent, the opportunity to get valuable pro experience. Unlike say an organization like NY Red Bulls, TFC continue to struggle to put together a team that can compete at a high level regularly throughout the course of a USL season.
That being said, TFCII head to Pittsburgh with some newfound confidence after winning its first match of the season against playoff contending Nashville SC, 2-0.
In addition, they’ll also be bolstered ahead of the next match, as news emerged on Thursday that the signaled addition of Tsubasa Endoh to the USL roster had been completed.
Justin Ashcraft of Mon Goals sat down with James Grossi who covers TFC and TFCII for MLSSoccer.com, Walking the Red, Canadian Soccer News, and The Blizzard.
Together they discuss:
- TFC2’s first win of the season against Nashville,
- Typical formations for both teams,
- Who are the star players to watch,
- Score predictions,
Our contributor, Mark Goodman, Riverhounds Rabbi has already provided a previous Scouting Report on TFCII, and pretty much left us his contribution for this week on twitter.
I promise to do a a new preview next week. For this weekends clash, check out my words on TFC2 from a few weeks back. https://t.co/SrQ68fU7bR
— Riverhounds Rabbi (@riverhoundrabbi) August 3, 2018
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
#PGHvTOR | #Riverhounds
“Hopefully we can keep our concentration, because the assumption is, Toronto comes in to town, and some people would count the points, we need to look at it what they’ve done recently to Cincinnati (draw) and Nashville (win!), and not take anything for granted,” Bob Lilley, Riverhounds coach.
“High intensity team,” Matt Srbely of TFCII said earlier this week. “Their field is a bit tight, so they’re going to be all over us. But if we move the ball quickly, reduce our touches and move well, we can break them down.”
Toronto FC II overall record: 1-15-3
Toronto FC II road record: 0-10-0
Pittsburgh overall record: 10-3-7
Pittsburgh home record: 6-2-3
HOUNDS INJURY REPORT
Kyle Morton – Out (Lower-body)
May 5, 2018, at Marina Auto Stadium
Pittsburgh 2, Toronto FC II 1
PGH – Neco Brett 12’ (Kevin Kerr)
PGH – Kevin Kerr 36’ (Neco Brett)
TOR – Shaan Hundal 90’+1 (Mariano Miño)
April 7, 2018, at Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh 4, Toronto FC II 0
PGH – Neco Brett 52’ (Thomas Vancaeyezeele)
PGH – Neco Brett 59’ (Ben Zemanski)
PGH – Neco Brett 83’
PGH – Christiano François 88’ (Neco Brett)
Goals: Neco Brett (10)
Assists: Kenardo Forbes (6)
Points: Neco Brett (23)
Saves: Dan Lynd (32)
Save %: Dan Lynd (.762)
GAA: Dan Lynd (0.59)
Toronto FC II
Goals: Ayo Akinola (4)
Assists: Aidan Daniels, Shaan Hundal, Mariano Miño and Luca Uccello (2)
Points: Ayo Akinola (9)
Saves: Gianluca Catalano (20)
Save %: Angelo Cavalluzzo (.640)
GAA: Caleb Patterson-Sewell (1.60)
LAST TIME OUT…
Pittsburgh 3, Richmond 0
PGH – Neco Brett 5’
PGH – Neco Brett 69’ (Kenardo Forbes)
PGH – Ben Fitzpatrick 81’ (Kenardo Forbes)
Dan Lynd – Andrew Lubahn (Joe Greenspan 65’), Todd Pratzner, Hugh Roberts, Jordan Dover, Noah Franke – Mohamed Dabo, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Ben Zemanski (Kenardo Forbes 65’) – Christiano François (Ben Fitzpatrick 77’) – Neco Brett
Toronto FC II
Toronto FC II 2, Nashville SC 0
TOR – Luca Uccello 34’ (penalty)
TOR – Matthew Srbely 47’ (Shaan Hundal)
Caleb Patterson-Sewell – Kyle Bjornethun, Rocco Romeo, Lars Eckenrode, Tim Kübel – Gideon, Waja (Robert Boskovic 81’), Dante Campbell – Luca Uccello, Matthew Srbely, Jordan Faria (Aidan Daniels 77’) – Shaan Hundal (Malik Johnson 86’)