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PREVIEW: Showdown in the ‘Ville – Riverhounds SC at Louisville City FC, 7:05 p.m.

PREVIEW: Showdown in the ‘Ville – Riverhounds SC at Louisville City FC, 7:05 p.m.

Riverhounds SC (6-1-7, 25 points) at Louisville City FC (7-2-4, 25 points)

Slugger Field, Louisville, KY,

BROADCAST:

ESPN+

Audio:  Riverhounds Facebook Live with Matt Gajtka

Follow:

USL Match Center 

Pittsburgh Soccer Now provides comprehensive coverage of this showdown from Slugger Field including:

  • MonGoals Preview Pod
  • Riverhounds Rabbi Scouting Report on Wednesday
  • Matt Gajtka with postgame report from Slugger Field.

 

KEY STORYLINES

• This will be the first meeting this season between the two teams that have been closest to front running FC Cincinnati in the standings. It’s also the first time the Hounds will face the USL’s defending champions since losing three times by a collective 7-0 scoreline in 2016. While Louisville City remains one of the top teams in the league, the Hounds under the guidance of Bob Lilley are now positioning themselves as a serious contender.

• James O’Connor has been the head man for City since its inception in 2015 — molding this franchise into a mainstay at the top of USL standings. In both 2015 and 2016, they reached the USL Eastern Conference final, and in 2017 they won USL Cup. We have more from O’Connor below in “What they’re saying.”

• This is an exciting week for the home side — as on Thursday, Louisville City FC will break ground on its new 11,300-seat stadium in the city’s Butchertown neighborhood, but before the club officially begins work on its new home — they’re hoping for a win after three consecutive draws.

• The Hounds have only played five of 14 USL games this season against teams with winning records (going 1-1-3). They’ll have an opportunity to make a statement by coming away from Louisville with three points.

• In addition, there will be a Robert Morris reunion on the pitch at Slugger Field — when Neco Brett — who’s been a pleasant surprise leading the Hounds in scoring this season with eight goals (now third in USL) will take on fellow Jamaican countryman and former Colonial teammate Devon ‘Speedy’ Williams.

• The Hounds have been unbeaten on the road as they’ve successfully frustrated opponents with a stifling defense that has most often features three center backs. The formula has included being patient at the start — mostly in a 3-4-3 (or 5-4-1) — but then looking to counter and get forward quickly. Pittsburgh has been allowing goals at a historically low rate. Overall through 14 matches, the Hounds are allowing 0.50 goals per game, far and away the best mark in club history at the moment (the 2013 squad holds the best mark for a full season at 0.85).

• With his next appearance, Kevin Kerr will move into sole possession for second all-time in club games played, breaking a tie of 145 with Gary DePalma. Kerr also sits one assist behind David Flavius’ all-time club-best mark of 25 helpers.

MORE ON LOUISVILLE CITY FC

Louisville is coming off two straight matches conceding a total of five goals and a lead in the final five minutes in each contest — first against Penn FC in a 3-3 affair — then on Saturday at North Carolina FC – 2-2.

Justin Ashcraft sits down with Taylor, who covers Louisville City for Barrel Proof, and together they break down what to expect from this midweek matchup.

Preview Pod – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs Louisville City FC 

Mark Goodman, the ‘Riverhounds Rabbi’ will be delivering another scouting report on Wednesday — taking a look at O’Connor’s Louisville City squad which are not quite dominating the league like they did a year ago, but are still one of the most complete teams that the Hounds will have to contend with this season.

City are the lone team from USL remaining in the US Open Cup — as they’ll have a fifth round match against MLS Chicago Fire on Wednesday, July 18.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING #LOUvPGH / #RIVERHOUNDS

“Louisville is going to be another tough road game, but I think the guys are feeling well,” said Riverhounds SC midfielder Kenardo Forbes. “We know we have to get a win. Our goal is to get four points off the road trip.”

O’Connor had this to say about Bob Lilley, who he’s coached against for three seasons — and most recently in Louisville City’s 1-0 triumph over Rochester Rhinos in USL Eastern Conference Semifinals.

“He’s very underrated,” said O’Connor. “I think you look at his history, when he was at Rochester, his teams are really difficult to break down, they’re very organized, very structured. He’s got some good attacking pieces this year in Pittsburgh, they’ve got a lot of pace. So, they’re going to be a real threat. You know, he’s gone in there and he’s done a really great job in a very short space of time. But you know, we expected that from Bob because of how he’s been you know?”

Louisville City will be breaking ground on a new stadium on Thursday…

Neco Brett was featured on WTAE-TV this week.

Action Athlete: Jamaican-born Riverhounds star finds ‘home away from home’ in Pittsburgh

Hugh Roberts earned USL Team of the Week honors on Tuesday

TEAM RECORDS OF NOTE & FORM 
Louisville City FC home record: 5-0-1
Streak: T3

Pittsburgh road record: 2-0-4
Streak: T1

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

RECENT HEAD-TO-HEAD
Sept. 9, 2017, at Highmark Stadium
Louisville City FC 3, Pittsburgh 0

Scoring Summary
LOU – Luke Spencer 33’ (Mark-Anthony Kaye)
LOU – Kyle Smith 43’
LOU – Devon Williams 54’ (penalty)

June 17, 2017, at Louisville Slugger Field
Louisville City FC 3, Pittsburgh 0

Scoring Summary
LOU – Cameron Lancaster 8’
LOU – Cameron Lancaster 64’ (Brian Ownby)
LOU – Niall McCabe 78’ (Rich Ballard)

SEASON LEADERS
Pittsburgh
Goals: Neco Brett (8)
Assists: Kevin Kerr (4)
Points: Neco Brett (19)
Saves: Dan Lynd (18)
Save %: Kyle Morton (1.000)
GAA: Kyle Morton (0.00)

Louisville City FC
Goals: Cameron Lancaster (6)
Assists: Ilija Ilic and Oscar Jimenez (3)
Points: Ilija Ilic (13)
Saves: Gregory Ranjitsingh (29)
Save %: Gregory Ranjitsingh (.707)
GAA: Gregory Ranjitsingh (0.92)

LAST TIME OUT…
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 0, Charleston 0

LINEUP:
Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole, Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Jordan Dover – Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kenardo Forbes – Kevin Kerr (Joe Holland 87’), Christiano François (Mouhamed Dabo 69’) – Romeo Parkes (Neco Brett 61’)

Louisville City FC
Louisville City FC 2, North Carolina FC 2

SCORING SUMMARY:
NC – Daniel Ríos 11’ (Kyle Bekker)
LOU – Paco Craig 39’ (Oscar Jimenez)
LOU – Ilija Ilic 59’
NC – Daniel Ríos 87’ (Tiyi Shipalane)

LINEUP:
Gregory Ranjitsingh – Paco Craig, Alexis Souahy, Sean Totsch (Pat McMahon 83’) – Niall McCabe, Paolo DelPiccolo, Devon Williams, Kyle Smith – Niall McCabe, Ilija Ilic (Cameron Lancaster 71’), Brian Ownby (Shaun Francis 57’)

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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