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FINAL: Riverhounds SC 1, ATLUTD2 0

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 1, ATLUTD2 0

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 1, Atlanta U2 0

USL Match Center 

GAME UPDATES

2nd half 

46′ – Neither team making any subs as second half begins.

54′ – lots of Pittsburgh possession so far in 2nd half.

55′ – ATL2’s Andrew Carleton with some clever foot skills to keep a possession alive, but it was quickly nullified by recovering Hounds defense.

61′ – Christensen comes out to get ball with Francois coming down on him. Francois gets to it with some help from his hand — and buries shot in back of net. But officially correctly calls intentional handball — and Christiano is booked.

67′ – Atlanta’s been more patient to work the ball and build up possession the past few minutes.

68′ – Romeo Parkes coming into the game. Brett coming off. Jamaican for Jamaican subs.

71′ – another Hounds sub — Ben Zemanski in for Kevin Kerr.

76′ – ATL’s Miles Robinson issued a yellow card. Not sure what happened there after ATL awarded goal kick.

77′ – Zemanski fouls Carleton on the edge of box. Carleton’s been all over the place the past few mins. Big Free kick opportunity coming for ATL2.

78′ – Carleton bends it over the bar.  It looked nice, but can’t put it on frame

80′ – Hounds on counter — but Parkes with the handball this time

81′ – Parkes draws foul as he gets loose on left side — and ref pulls out – SECOND yellow card on Robinson.
Robinson has been sent off — and Hounds with free kick and playing up a man.

84′ – young ATL team continuing to show some frustration
Capt’ Jack Metcalf is now booked after his take down of Mouhamed Dabo who was down on field

85′ – Forbes with chance on left side box box, but tried to go inside left post but shot misses — hits side of net.

88′ – ATL2 sub — Laurent Kiessiedov in for Carleton.

90′ – ATL2 earns a corner. Morton goes up to grab ball in from corner — no problem as we enter stoppage time Hugh Roberts in now for Francois who gets a nice hand.

Hounds hanging on 1-0 — and now five minutes of stoppage time added too

92′ – another corner for ATL2 — this time ball squirts around in front and Morton dives to his left to secure it 90’+3

95′ – that’s it after last chance shot from

Halftime thoughts

Almost 500 minutes, and five and a half games into the season and the Riverhounds have yet to trail.

In the first half, coming out in a 3-5-1-1 or 3-5-2 — the Hounds were patient at first, allowing Atlanta United 2 to have the majority of possession in the half (60% to 40%).  Despite being outpossessed, the Hounds still generated a heavy edge in shots (8-2) and crosses (14-4).

The Hounds though, methodically began to exploit a few seams in the Atlanta United 2 back line.

At first, it was Ray Lee on the left flank who swung in a pair of dangerous balls in the 10th and 18th minutes that forced ATL2’s keeper Paul Christensen off his line to have to react quickly to prevent any further danger.

Then the Hounds started to switch things over to the right side, where the familiar tandem of Christiano Francios and Jordan Dover started to work the ball to each other — and looked to find some cracks.

In the 26th minute, François’ persistence paid off bringing high pressure to the right end line beating ATL2 defender to the ball that was making its way to the line. François took a touch, used his right foot to send it over to Neco Brett on top of the goal box.

Brett calmly maneuvered the ball from his right to left foot, then tucked away his shot past Christensen for his fourth goal of the season to give the Hounds the 1-0 lead.

1st half

5′ – ATL with most of possession but Hounds get a nice build up set up by Dover cross but GK Paul Christiensen comes out to collect ball on six yard line

7′ – ATL Cross into box from left side — and Dan Lynd comes out to get it

10′ – Good chance for Hounds.

After high press from Neco Brett forces Christensen to kick it away. Hounds ensuing possession after throw-in results in Ray Lee cross from left side that finds Christiano François at the back post but the one timer goes over bar.

14′ – Kerr uses body nicely to draw foul on Andrew Kendall-Moullin. 

Hounds go with quick restart but nothing materializes

16′ – ATL2’s Andrew Carleton intercepts a deflected Vancaeyezeele pass, but through ball to Devon Sandoval in space is offside. Sandoval defenitely staying high — trying to get through especially if they can capitalize on any Hounds mistakes.

18′ – Lee gets forward quickly — dangerous lining cross comes in very hot to handle but Christensen gets it.

26′ – GOAL RIVERHOUNDS – 1-0 – gathers it in front of the six yard spot after great play by o set it up after he gets around ATL defender to ball around end line

That was Brett’s fourth goal of the season — and a fabulous assist for the Cheetah.

28′ – Kerr finds room to shoot — and drills one right at Christensen who secures it.

33′ – ATL2 gets a corner — and inswinging ball connects with AJ Cochran — but Hounds GK Kyle Morton is there to collect it

44′ – Hounds continue to apply pressure around the edge of box, but no real dangerous shots as half winds down

 

THE SETUP 

Saturday, April 28 – 7 p.m. – Highmark Stadium

WATCH: 
USL Match Center | ESPN+

FOLLOW: 
Twitter: @pghsoccerscribe – #PGHvATL | #UNLEASH

WEATHER: 43 degrees, cloudy

STARTING LINE-UPS

Riverhounds SC

GK – Kyle Morton

D – Todd Pratzner, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele

MF – Jordan Dover, Ray Lee, Kenardo Forbes, Kevin KerrMouhamed Dabo

F – Christiano François, Neco Brett

Reserves – Dan Lynd (G), Hugh Roberts, Andy Lubahn, Ben Zemanski, Bakie Goodman, Kay Banjo, Romeo Parkes 

Here’s ATL2’s starting XI and reserves:

GK – Paul Christiansen

D – Mikey Ambrose, AJ Cochran, Miles Robinson, Jack Metcalf

MF – Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Ollie Shannon, Chris Goslin

F – Andrew Carleton, Devon Sandoval, Jon Gallagher

Reserves:

Nico Caraux (G), Kevin Barajas, Jose Carranza, Jackson Conway, Laurent Kiessiedov, Lagos Kunga, Shawn Nicklaw

 

KEY STORYLINES:

• Hounds enter this match in uncharted territory as their five-game unbeaten streak to open the season is the club’s best start in its 19-year history. The previous best was set by the 2000 squad, which went unbeaten in its first four
(3-0-1).

• Currently, the Hounds are one of only two teams in the East joining Louisville – and four overall in the USL – Las Vegas and Sacramento in addition out West – who are without a loss.

• For the second time this season the Riverhounds SC will take on an entirely new opponent as Atlanta United 2 is in its debut campaign in USL. The United were unbeaten until Tuesday when they were pummeled by Charleston, 3-0.

• The Hounds are off to a solid start at Highmark Stadium (2-0-1) despite lackluster attendance. With a win on Saturday they can reach the .500 mark all-time in the six-year old facility.  The Hounds current all-time record in league play at home in 76 matches is 27-28-21.

• It appears that the Hounds are mostly healthy with a few exceptions (see injury report below), and training this week included a friendly against WVU’s men’s team on Tuesday work in more players and help with keeping up with match fitness.

• Head Coach Bob Lilley has shown a different wrinkle each week tactically, as it appears that he’ll be trying to bottle up Atlanta’s young skillful players and force them to be extremely patient. We could very well see a return to the line-up of both Romeo Parkes and Christiano François, who were not in the starting XI at Cincinnati. François did come in as a second half sub, but Parkes hasn’t played since week two scoreless draw vs Penn FC.

• Teams that play off the ground and into the air — and play real fast tend to struggle vs Lilley’s teams unless they’re pinpoint in their passing and execution. It will be interesting if Atlanta changes some of what they’ve been doing early in the season against the Hounds and try to keep more possession. For a closer look at Atlanta United 2, and what to expect from them, you can see Riverhounds Rabbi’s breakdown below.

INJURY REPORT: 

  • Ben Fitzpatrick – Out (Lower body)
  • Joe Greenspan – Out (Calf)

MORE ON ATL 2: 

ATL UTD 2 featured a starting lineup with an average age of 20.9 years old in its loss on Tuesday to Charleston, including two current Atlanta United Academy players in Kendall Edwards and Jackson Conway, who made his professional debut.

Another interesting note, scoring twice for Charleston in that match was Atlanta United loanee Gordon Wild, who had two goals in the second half against ATL2.

Our Mark Goodman, aka Riverhounds Rabbi, provided another stellar scouting report — breaking down what we could expect from a young and talented ATL2 squad.

ATLUTD2’s Andrew Kendall-Moullin. Credit: Atlanta UTD 2 via twitter

Riverhounds Rabbi Scouting Report: ATL 2 have individual talent, but can they turn that into wins?

#PGHvATL #RIVERHOUNDS BUZZ 

“We have to have our mindset, our game plan and we have to execute. If we don’t, Atlanta may be our toughest opponent here in Pittsburgh so far this year.” Bob Lilley, Hounds coach.

Hounds defender Tobi Adewole getting some attention from his homeland media…

Can the Hounds draw more fans?

It probably won’t help that Saturday’s forecast for for a chilly (for late April) night in the ‘Burgh.

Here’s my column from earlier in the week addressing the Hounds attendance challenges:

Despite early success on the field, Hounds continue to deal with attendance challenges 

And by the way, there’s no conflict with Penguins-Capitals on Saturday either…

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, 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 United States. 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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