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Hounds lose to Red Bulls II; will host Bethlehem in playoff opener

Hounds lose to Red Bulls II; will host Bethlehem in playoff opener

NY Red Bulls II 2, Riverhounds SC 1

USL Match Center

The long 34-game regular season has finally come to an end for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC — as they lost for only the fifth time, 2-1, to New York Red Bulls II at Montclair State University’s Soccer Park on Sunday.

Pittsburgh will now ready for a playoff match against Bethlehem Steel FC, taking place at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Highmark Stadium.

“I think, for us, to regroup, understand what’s at stake and we’ll get them plenty of rest this week,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “It’ll be important for us to have jump in our step next weekend. We need another gear at playoff time, and I think we have it.”

Here’s how the USL’s Eastern Conference first-round match-ups shake out.

  1. FC Cincinnati vs 8. Nashville SC
  2. Louisville City FC vs 7. Indy Eleven
  3. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs 6 Bethlehem Steel FC
  4. Charleston Battery vs 5. NY Red Bulls II

The Hounds conceded a goal in the 30th minute, after Tom Barlow capitalized on an uncharacteristic misplayed ball by Thomas Vancayezeele.

With Pittsburgh pushing for a goal in stoppage time, there was plenty of room for the Red Bulls II counter attack when Jarod Stoud to doubled the lead with a shot from just inside the right side of the box.

Trailing 2-0 in stoppage time, and after some nifty work along the end line by Joe Holland delivered the corner for Joe Greenspan who headed it in for his third goal of the season.

The Hounds had two shots on target in the first half. Their first came off the left foot of Romeo Parkes in the 16th minute, but New York goalkeeper Scott Levene saved his chance. In the 21st minute, Kenardo Forbes took a free kick from just outside of the 18-yard box, but Levene collected the midfielder’s shot after it slipped through the wall.

Pittsburgh had an opportune moment to tie the game in the 71st minute.

After outside defender Jordan Dover was fouled inside of the 18-yard box, Forbes lined up to take the chance from the penalty spot. However, Forbes’ shot was saved by Levene, who dove to his left and blocked the ball safely out toward the sideline.

Kevin Kerr made his return for the Hounds as last sub in 85 minute. It was Kerr’s first game since suffering calf injury in August. It was the longest tenured Hound’s 20th appearance on the season, and his 164th overall.

Stat of the Game
The Hounds set a team record with a 0.76 goals per game average this season.

Beyond the Box Score

  • Defender Joe Greenspan notched the Hounds’ lone goal of the match, in addition to leading the club with 13 clearances.
  • Thomas Vancaeyezeele sets a team record with 32 single-season starts.
  • Pittsburgh held New York to nine total shots. Red Bulls II averaged more than 18 total shots per game heading into the match.
  • Kevin Kerr made his first appearance since an Aug. 4 home match against Toronto FC II. Kerr has missed time due to a lower-body injury.
  • Tobi Adewole led the team with six interceptions during the match.

What’s Next
With the completion of its regular season, No. 3 seed Riverhounds SC will battle No. 6 seed Bethlehem Steel FC at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Highmark Stadium for the first-ever playoff game in the venue’s history. For a chance to witness a historical showdown, purchase your tickets now at riverhounds.com/fillthemark.

Lineups:

Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee (Joe Holland 79’), Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover – Ben Zemanski (Mouhamed Dabo 73’) – Romeo Parkes, Christiano François (Kevin Kerr 86’), Kenardo Forbes – Neco Brett

Subs not used: Mike Kirk, Kay Banjo, Andrew Lubahn, Hugh Roberts

New York Red Bulls II – Scott Levene – Ethan Kutler, Jordan Scarlett (Hassan Ndam 87’), Kevin Politz, Allen Yanes – Steven Echeverria (Andrew Tinari 65’), Cristian Cásseres Jr., José Aguinaga – Amando Moreno (Jared Stroud 75’), Tom Barlow, Brian White

Subs not used: Evan Louro, Niko De Vera, Chris Lema, Lucas Stauffer

Scoring Summary:
NY – Tom Barlow 30’
NY – Jared Stroud 90’+1 (José Aguinaga)
PGH – Joe Greenspan 90’+5 (Joe Holland)

 

PSN Playoff Coverage

Our Pittsburgh Soccer Now team coverage this week will include:

  • Mon Goals podcast – regular weekly podcast from Mike, Kev and Josh will wrap-up the Hounds regular season, and start talking about the big match-up on Saturday.
  • Daily reports from Hounds practiceMark Goodman, Matt Gajtka and I will be taking turns visiting with players/coaches after training sessions this week. Ed Thompson will also stop by Highmark Stadium at some point to get some training shots.
  • View from the BoothMatt Gajtka will file his weekly column, ‘View from the Booth’ at midweek, looking ahead to calling his first Hounds home playoff game.
  • Preview podcast – expect a preview podcast coming from the Beautiful Game Network and listen to Mon Goal show to find out what their plans for a potential pre-game show on Saturday.
  • Riverhounds Rabbi Scouting ReportMark Goodman will take a look at the tactical match-up and what to expect in Saturday’s playoff game.
  • Game day coverage – John Krysinsky will be at Highmark reporting the action and Ed Thompson will have photography.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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