Pittsburgh Riverhounds (0-0-0) vs Nashville SC (0-1-0)
6 p.m. kickoff (5 p.m. CST) / Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
TV / Stream / Follow: Pittsburgh’s CW / YouTube / Twitter – #NSHvPGH
Forecast: 65 degrees, light rain, potential scattered Thunderstorms
All-time series: first meeting ever
- The Riverhounds open the 2018 season on the road — in an NFL stadium — at Nissan Stadium as demand for tickets exceeded what NSC could hold at First Tennessee Park (capacity 8,500). With a new MLS team on the way in Music City USA, the excitement for pro soccer has reached a fever pitch, it’s now expected that there will be more than 20,000 fans in the 69,000 seat facility for the club’s first ever USL regular season match.
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) March 24, 2018
The Hounds enter 2018 with high expectations under a new coach, Bob Lilley, who takes over the club after a successful run in Rochester, where he made the playoffs in each year at the helm. Lilley has won multiple pro titles, with Vancouver Whitecaps (USL 1st Division, 2006), and Rochester (USL 2015).
- While Lilley methodically assembled a roster of 23 players, which includes seven he brought with him from Rochester, he will probably have a few veteran players that will either not be ready to play due to fitness/injuries or see limited action including former All-USL selection Kenardo Forbes, who only joined the team last week after playing with Syracuse in MASL, as well as new additions Ben Zemanski and Dennis Chin.
- There are two former recent Hounds playing for Nashville SC, midfielder Lebo Moloto, who was here in 2015-16, and Taylor Washington, who started 27 games at outside back in 2017. Moloto had a solid campaign with Swope Park Rangers in 2017, scoring seven goals and four assists as part of an attacking unit that made it to the USL Cup Final. In the opening loss last Saturday against Louisville City FC, Moloto led the team with three shot attempts.
CLOSER LOOK AT NASHVILLE SC
Only one regular season game into its existence, Nashville will be a transitional club which will eventually move up in the ranks to MLS after this season or the following season. It’s very likely that its MLS club may still have some form of USL team in the second division.
Here’s our own Riverhound Rabbi’s scouting report on the Hounds opening day opponents, expansion Nashville SC, as they hung around against defending USL Champions Louisville City for scoreless first half
Only one Hounds player is coming up on this week’s injury report:
Ben Fitzpatrick, who’s listed as out with lower body issue.
“Now, we have to go out and do our part — and produce some results on the field.” Kevin Kerr, after the Hounds announced a new logo in late February when asked about expectations for this season under Bob Lilley.
6 years ago, my kids and their friends came to Nashville to see the US national team play. This weekend, we have professional soccer at Nissan Stadium – an amazing dream comes true @NashvilleSC #DriveToNissan pic.twitter.com/auRsuHOJZW
— Mike Jacobs (@MJacobsNash) March 22, 2018
Washington, who came on in the 85th minute at Louisville, showed some respect for his opponent and former captain, Kevin Kerr earlier this week.
— Taylor B Washington (@TBMMW) March 20, 2018
Nashville SC has sold over 15,000 tickets for their inaugural home opener at Nissan Stadium next weekend pic.twitter.com/OaSOv09FJB
— Everything Nashville (@ETNNash) March 18, 2018