FINAL: Riverhounds 0, Battery 0
In a match featuring two of the stronger defensive sides in USL, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Charleston Battery battled to a nil-nil draw at MUSC Stadium in Charleston on Saturday.
The Hounds started to use the width a bit more in the second half — setting up five corner attempts.
The best chance came on Kenardo Forbes‘ ball in that connected with Joe Greenspan in the 65th minute.
Greenspan’s header lined toward the lower right side of goal, but Charleston’s Joe Kuzminsky sprawled to the ground to make a quick reaction save.
Greenspan, who made his first start since March 30, had a solid outing in the middle of a three man back line with five clearances, three interceptions and winning five of his six aerial duels.
In the 55th minute, Charleston’s Gordon Wild‘s free kick hit the lower part of the bar, bounced down and Greenspan came in the nick of time to clear the ball away.
The teams played to a scoreless first half, as the Riverhounds and Battery have each toyed with some chances here and there, but nothing significant. Both strong defensive sides were effective in limiting shot attempts as each team were only about to muster one shot each — neither on target.
Romeo Parkes had a solid run into the box in the early going after intercepting a pass, but his shot from a tough angle on the right side sailed wide right of the goal.
Possession was pretty close — with the Hounds carrying the better of it (53%).
Be sure to check back on Sunday, as we’ll be posted Analysis/Player Grades from this game.
The Hounds will stay on the road, heading to Louisville, KY for a mid-week showdown with the defending USL champions at Slugger Field (7 p.m. kickoff). Pittsburgh Soccer Now will have on-site coverage from Derby City on Wednesday.
GK – Dan Lynd
D- Hugh Roberts, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole
MF-Ray Lee, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kenardo Forbes, Jordan Dover
F- Christiano Francois (Mouhamad Dabo, 67′), Kevin Kerr (Joe Holland, 87′) Romeo Parkes (Neco Brett, 60′)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (6-1-6, 24 points) at Charleston Battery (5-3-6, 21 points)
Saturday, June 23 | 7:30 p.m.
MUSC Health Stadium
Pittsburgh’s CW | ESPN+
Twitter: #CHSvPGH | #UNLEASH
Stats: USL Match Center
TEAM RECORDS & FORM
Charleston’s home record: 4-1-2, Streak: T1
Pittsburgh’s road record: 2-0-3, Streak: W2
• This weekend’s tilt marks the first meeting between the two clubs this season. The Hounds won the season series last year, 1-0-1, including a 2-1 victory in the Holy City in early April when Kevin Kerr and Corey Hertzog hooked up for the game winner at the verge of stoppage time. It was the Hounds first win in Charleston since 2011.
• The Battery hold a 12-6-11 advantage all-time against the Black and Gold. Last season’s win for Pittsburgh marked only the second overall in the current era of the USL (since 2011) against Charleston.
• The USL’s Eastern Conference standings have a log jam of teams between second and ninth place separated by only three points. While the Battery sit in eighth place and have struggled to pick up a win of late (haven’t won since May 12), they’re still a high level opponent who have some impressive wins this season. With a win on Saturday, the Battery can pull even with the Hounds in the standings.
• Rolling in on a two-game winning streak though, with both Neco Brett and Romeo Parkes in decent form — combining for five goals in the past two the Hounds can stay within striking distance of league leading FC Cincinnati with another win. Expect Pittsburgh to show little fear on the road — as they’ve yet to taste defeat on the road in five tries this season (2-0-3), including impressive draws over Cincinnati, Nashville and Tampa Bay. Charleston is 4-1-2 at home with its only loss to front running FC Cincy. One advantage that the Battery could have — is temperatures will be humid and near 90 degrees at kickoff — certainly conditions the Southern hosts are used to — though the Hounds did hold up to the Florida tropical weather in its previous visit to St. Petersburg in May.
• The Steel Army will be hosting a Watch Party at Smokin’ Joe’s Saloon in South Side for fans of age with drink and food specials including a free round of Hounds Ale after every Hounds goal and 45-cent wings. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m.
MORE ON CHARLESTON
The Battery’s attack will be centered around Ataulla Guerra – who leads the team with seven goals this season. Traditionally the Battery under long-time coach Mike Anhaeuser have been stingy defensively — and have lots of speed at the top of the attack. Guerra has proved to be a dynamic scorer that the Hounds back line will have to mark throughout the match.
On the Hounds-Battery preview pod Justin sits down with Jonathan, who covers Charleston Battery for Black and Yellow Post, and together they break down what to expect from this weekend’s upcoming match up.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING #CHSvPGH
The competition for playing time has been pretty intense — and I took a deeper look earlier this week at how this has helped the Hounds this season.
The Battery having gone winless in the last five matches and Anhaeuser hopes being back in Charleston will help them get back on track.
“Bottom line is we’re going to have to be good to beat them, but the good thing is we’re at home and we’re very good here,” he said. “We seem to be a little sharper here than when we’re on the road. We’re prepared for them. They’re a good team. I know Bob (Lilley) is going to come in here defensively organized. He’s probably going to try to sit back a little bit, especially since it’s this warm, and he’s probably going to try to hit us on the counter attack. We have to be ready for it.”
Despite a two-game winning streak, Lilley wasn’t happy with his team’s play in 3-0 win over NY Red Bulls II last Saturday.
HOUNDS INJURY REPORT
Mouhamed Dabo – Questionable (Lower-body)
Kyle Morton – Out (Lower-body)
Ben Zemanski – Out (Lower-body)
BATTERY INJURY REPORT
Vincenzo Candela — (out)
Skylar Thomas — (day-to-day)
July 26, 2017, at Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh 2, Charleston 2
CHS – Miles Robinson 11’ (Justin Portillo)
PGH – Victor Souto 21’ (Romeo Parkes)
PGH – Corey Hertzog 62’ (Romeo Parkes)
CHS – Maikel Chang 84’ (Ataulla Guerra)
April 8, 2017, at MUSC Health Stadium
Pittsburgh 2, Charleston 1
CHS – Ataulla Guerra 8’ (Dante Marini)
PGH – Marshall Hollingsworth 59’ (Kay Banjo)
PGH – Corey Hertzog 90+1’ (Kevin Kerr)
Goals: Neco Brett (8)
Assists: Kevin Kerr (4)
Points: Neco Brett (19)
Saves: Dan Lynd (17)
Save %: Kyle Morton (1.000)
GAA: Kyle Morton (0.00)
Goals: Ataulla Guerra (7)
Assists: Ataulla Guerra, Neveal Hackshaw, Jarad van Schalk and Gordon Wild (2)
Points: Ataulla Guerra (16)
Saves: Joe Kuzminsky (20)
Save %: Joe Kuzminsky (.714)
GAA: Joe Kuzminsky (0.89)
LAST TIME OUT…
Pittsburgh 3, New York 0
PGH – Neco Brett 27’ (Kevin Kerr)
PGH – Neco Brett 54’ (Kenardo Forbes)
PGH – Romeo Parkes 65’ (Ray Lee)
Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Hugh Roberts, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Todd Pratzner, Jordan Dover – Ben Zemanski (Kevin Kerr 22’), Kenardo Forbes – Christiano François – Neco Brett (Joe Greenspan 74’), Romeo Parkes (Kay Banjo 78’)
Charleston 1, Charlotte 1
CHS – Kotaro Higashi 25’ (Ataulla Guerra)
CLT – Mutaya Mwape 79’
Joe Kuzminsky – Neveal Hackshaw, Taylor Mueller, Skylar Thomas – Jarad van Schalk, Angelo Kelly-Rosales, Tah Anunga, O’Brian Woodbine (Nicholas Rittmeyer 67’) – Kotaro Higashi, Ataulla Guerra, Gordon Wild (Patrick Okonkwo 84’)