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FINAL: Red Bulls II 2, Riverhounds SC 1

FINAL: Red Bulls II 2, Riverhounds SC 1

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (15-4-14, 59 pts) at NY Red Bulls II (12-8-13, 49 pts)

Monclair State University Soccer Park, Sunday, October 14, 5 p.m.

WATCH
ESPN+

FOLLOW
Twitter: @RiverhoundsSC – #NYvPGH | #UNLEASH

Stats: USL Match Center

GAME UPDATES

7:00 – FINAL – NYRBII 2, Riverhounds SC 1

The Hounds will host Bethlehem Steel FC in the opening round of the USL Eastern Conference playoffs on Saturday (7 pm) at Highmark Stadium.

Two goals in stoppage time make things interesting.

First, Red Bulls with plenty of space on the counter attack as Stroud finishes from the right side of the box.

Then, Joe Holland does some nice work on the end line to set up a corner.

Holland delivered the corner for Joe Greenspan who headed it in for his third goal of the season.

 

 

Nice to see the return of Kevin Kerr for the Hounds as last sub in 85′

After 80 minutes:

Shots: 12-7 PGH

SOG: 4-2 PGH

Passing Accuracy: 67-66 NYRBII

Possession: 52-48 NYRBII

GOALS: 1-0 NYRBII

75′ – Nice save by Dan Lynd

70′ – PK chance for Hounds after Forbes sets up Dover with nice through ball.

But Forbes attempt is stopped!

Hounds concede goal in 30th minute. Thomas Vancayezeele with a bad give-away — and Tom Barlow takes it from there.

 

KEY STORYLINES

This will be the final game of the USL regular season in the Eastern Conference. All other games will have been played over the weekend when this one kicks off, so the teams will know what’s at stake at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

While the Hounds have clinched the third place seed in the upcoming playoffs, there’s one interesting story line. There’s a chance we could see the return of the longest-tenured Riverhounds SC, Kevin Kerr.  The Scottish midfielder who’s been a fixture in Pittsburgh since 2013, has been in full training with the team for the past week-plus. He is traveling with the team, and while the squad won’t be named until later in the day Sunday, Kerr expressed his excitement with being back.

“I am hopeful to play some part on Sunday,” Kerr said. “I think it will depend on how the game goes.”

Prior to his injury, Kerr played in 19 games, logging 1,357 minutes with two goals and four assists.

Ultimately, the Hounds don’t have anything to play for except to stay sharp, get some important game minutes and match fitness for many of its key and role players.

This weekend’s match could very well be a potential playoff preview for the Hounds, but even with only two games of relevance remaining, there are still a bunch of scenarios.

Red Bulls II currently sit sixth in the conference and ensured a trip to the playoffs, though even after Saturday’s action where Louisville City FC beat Indy Eleven, 1-0, and FC Cincinnati played to a 3-3 draw vs Nashville SC, spots No. 5-8 still remain up in the air, including New York.

Essentially, if Red Bulls win, they will finish in fifth place. If they play the Hounds to a draw, and Bethlehem Steel FC wins its game against Tampa Bay Rowdies (3 pm kickoff from Lehigh Valley), then the two teams will be tied and it will come down to tie-breakers, which is goal-differential.

The latest standings are listed below.

Only North Carolina FC, after 3-1 win vs Charlotte last night, has a faint chance to qualify but they need Tampa to beat Steel FC by four or more goals (don’t think that’s happening folks).

Steel FC can finish anywhere from fifth to ninth. A draw for NY Red Bulls doesn’t do them any good if Bethlehem Steel FC win, unless they beat the Hounds by four or more goals.

So basically what that means is that Red Bulls II will do what they usually do at home, and try to go all out to score as many goals as they can. In a way, this is good for Bob Lilley and his team, who will want to get a good test six days prior to the playoffs.

Team Points GD GP Remaining
FC Cincinnati 77 +38 34 Clinched 1st seed in Eastern Conf / USL
Louisville City FC 66 +34 34 Clinched 2nd seed in Eastern Conf
Riverhounds SC 59 +22 33 @NYRBII (10/14) – Clinched 3rd
Charleston Battery 56 +13 34 Clinched 4th seed in Eastern Conf
Indy Eleven 49 +3 34 Clinched playoff spot
NY Red Bulls 49 +11 33 @Pgh (10/14)
Nashville SC 49 +11 34 Clinched playoff spot
Bethlehem Steel FC 47 +14 33 TBR (10/14) – Clinches playoff with win/draw or loss by less than 5 goals
North Carolina 47 +10 34 Can clinch playoff spot if Beth Steel lose to TBR by 5 goals

MORE ON NY RED BULLS II

Coming off a win at Penn FC, the Red Bulls II have clinched a playoff spot, but would probably want to move up higher to earn a fifth seed. They’re currently a six seed, and if the playoffs were to start this weekend, would be playing the Riverhounds.

Since entering the USL in 2015, NYRBII have been a playoff fixture. They knocked the Riverhounds out of the playoffs in 2015 in a memorable 4-2 2OT win at Red Bull Arena.

As the case many times before, this will be a clash of styles between the Hounds, now coached by Bob Lilley and the Baby Bulls, who are coached by John Wolyniec.

The latest, and more relevant meeting came in June, when the Hounds dominated the Red Bulls II in a 3-0 romp at Highmark Stadium.

Both Lilley and Wolyniec have won USL titles in recent years. Lilley did so at Rochester with his no-nonsense approach that strangled opponents (allowed only 15 goals in 2015), while Wolyniec carries out an aggressive, high-pressing style that the Red Bulls organization is known for imploring. Although Lilley’s Rhinos dominated NYRBII (3-0-1 including a 2-0 playoff win) in 2015, the Red Bulls II were the only team to score twice against them that season. They played each other five times in 2016 — with all three regular season games finishing in draws (1-1 and two scoreless draws). But the Red Bulls beat Lilley’s Rhinos both in Open Cup (1-0) and in a memorable playoff duel (3-3, 5-4 on PKs). The teams split a pair of 2-1 contests in 2017.

As Riverhounds Rabbi, Mark Goodman scouting report prior to the previous match in June indicated, the Red Bulls are a terrifying offensive club, and especially dangerous at home.

Riverhounds Rabbi Scouting Report: Red Bulls II are terrifying

Currently tied for fifth-place with Indy Eleven, NYRB II can see themselves finishing as high as fifth, or as low as eighth seed heading into the first round of the playoffs. A win Sunday coupled with an Indy Eleven draw or loss against Louisville City on Saturday, will see New York begin the playoffs on the road against fourth-seeded Charleston Battery.

Usually playing high-pressing, full throttle attacking philosophy, New York have once again had one of the highest scoring outfits in USL this season as they’re second in the league, only trailing Louisville City FC by one goal with 70 for the season. They’re especially potent at home, posting a 10-3-3 record at MSU Soccer Park (and Red Bull Arena) this season.

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

#NYvPGH

Some pre-game thoughts from Hounds defender Hugh Roberts

 

TEAM RECORDS
New York’s overall record: 12-8-13
New York’s home record: 10-3-3
Streak: W2

Pittsburgh’s overall record: 15-4-14
Pittsburgh’s away record: 6-2-7
Streak: T3

HOUNDS INJURY REPORT
Kyle Morton – Out (Lower-body)

RECENT HEAD-TO-HEAD
June 16, 2018, at Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh 3, New York 0

SCORING SUMMARY:
PGH – Neco Brett 27’ (Kevin Kerr)
PGH – Neco Brett 54’ (Kevin Kerr)
PGH – Romeo Parkes 65’ (Ray Lee)

Sept. 30, 2017, at MSU Soccer Park
New York 2, Pittsburgh 0

SCORING SUMMARY:
NY – 25’ Abuchi Obinwa (own goal)
NY – 90’+ Florian Valot (Dilly Duka)

SEASON LEADERS
Pittsburgh
Goals: Neco Brett (15)
Assists: Kenardo Forbes (8)
Points: Neco Brett (37)
Saves: Dan Lynd (42)
Save %: Dan Lynd (.700)
GAA: Dan Lynd (0.76)

New York
Goals: Amando Moreno and Brian White (10)
Assists: Jared Stroud (11)
Points: Brian White (25)
Saves: Evan Louro (64)
Save %: Evan Louro (.598)
GAA: Evan Louro (1.66)

LAST TIME OUT…
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 1, Atlanta 1

SCORING SUMMARY:
PGH – Thomas Vancaeyezeele 27’ (Christiano François)
ATL – Laurent Kissiedou 52’

LINEUP:
Dan Lynd – Ray Lee (Romeo Parkes 79’), Todd Pratzner, Hugh Roberts, Andrew Lubahn – Mouhamed Dabo, Thomas Vancaeyezeele – Ben Fitzpatrick (Joe Holland 66’), Kenardo Forbes, Christiano François – Kay Banjo (Neco Brett 78’)

New York
New York 3, Penn FC 1

SCORING SUMMARY:
PEN – Miguel Jaime 25’ (Walter Ramírez)
NY – Jared Stroud 32’ (Christopher Lema)
NY – Brian White 66’
NY – José Aguinaga 88’

LINEUP:
Evan Louro – Niko De Vera, Jordan Scarlett, Hassan Ndam, Lucas Stauffer – Steven Echeverria (Andrew Tinari 61’), Christopher Lema – Jared Stroud, Cristian Cásseres Jr, José Aguinaga (Kevin Politz 88’) – Brian White (Tom Barlow 76’)

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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