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Riverhounds Fall To Lower Division Foe Again in Open Cup

From Pittsburgh Riverhounds report: 

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds dropped a tough 3-1 decision on the road to Chicago FC United in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

In an extremely windy setting, the Hounds could not hold off an inspired FC United attack that netted goals in the 19th minute, 73rd minute and second-half stoppage time. Tallying the lone goal for Pittsburgh was Kay Banjo in the 58th minute.

Scoring opened in the first half as Chicago’s Max De Bruijne sent a useful cross in that was headed past goalkeeper Keasel Broome by Mark Segbres. The Hounds would respond with controlling the pace of play for a good part of the remainder of the half, including good looks from Chevaughn Walsh and Ben Fitzpatrick, but no equalizer was to be had.

After an injury to Kenroy Howell in the 38th minute, reinforcements were brought in first in Kevin Kerr then Corey Hertzog replacing Walsh to start the second half.

Hertzog nearly connected on two occasions within the 49th minute before the Hounds were able to break through by way of a Banjo goal soon after.

Making his first start for Pittsburgh since signing earlier this month, Romeo Parkes sent a pretty feed to Banjo, who finished with ease for his third goal in all competition this season.

Following the equalizer, Broome was called upon to make an outstanding save in close in the 68th minute. The score would not hold though, as immediately after the Hounds subbed in Taylor Washington for Shane Campbell, Chicago took the lead in the 73rd minute.

Play would slow from there, with the Hounds only garnering a serious look at another equalizer off a chance by Hertzog in the 80th minute, but his take from 15 yards out sailed high. FC United would tally on a late goal in the waning moments of the second half for the 3-1 result.

For the Hounds, the loss marks another disappointing start to the Open Cup, as they bowed out after their first match for a second straight season. Additionally, the club is one of four Division II teams to be dealt an upset on the night so far in Second Round action – Richmond Kickers (USL), New York Cosmos (NASL) and Indy Eleven (NASL) being the others.

Pittsburgh now shifts its focus to building on its three-game winning streak in USL competition against Louisville City FC on Saturday, May 20. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. 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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