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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Analysis and Player Grades: Man did we blow it

No sugar coating it kids- the Riverhounds had this one under control, and then they got beat. The first goal by Dekel Keinan on the dead ball restart from Emmanuel Ledesma can be excused – the free kick service was picture perfect, and Hugh Roberts and Tobi Adewole did a good job marking Dekel Keinan, but the ball still found it’s way into the back of the goal. On the second goal, the Riverhounds were absolutely exposed and beaten. There were too few players deep; the team reacted too slowly, and the defenders in position to make plays… didn’t.

Thus, a match in which the team was fully in control for 79 minutes ended with nothing to show.

Player Grades

All player grades are scored out of 10. Generally, a 9 or 10 is for a player that scores a hat trick or a clutch of assists or just dominates. 7 or 8 is for a good or even great game. 6 is average or maybe even a little ‘meh’. 5 is for a below average game; 4 or 3 if you were quite poor. A 2 or 1, and the game ended with you carrying your own suitcase to a bus station to get a one-way ticket to a career change.

Mike Kirk GK

Kirk had several good saves early in the second half, a good save at 75′, and no clear errors on the night. He probably should have had some kind of play on the first goal from Dekel Keinan, but most GKs would have conceded the two goals Cincinnati scored.

Grade: 6

Thomas Vancaeyezeele LB

Tommy was playing out-of-position at left back, as he’s normally a center back or defensive midfielder. He wasn’t involved in any significant plays on offense or defense.

Grade: 6

Jordan Dover CB

Dover had a key tackle at 32’ and a good clearance at 45+1’. He was a little passive for my tastes, but made no errors and made the important plays that came his way while also keeping his man under wraps and effectively closing the gaps.

Grade: 7

Hugh Roberts  CB

Roberts had a good goal opportunity on a corner at 14′, but he blew his header high. I also counted two-failed clearances (one at 27′, one at 68′) that could have been problems for the Hounds. He had a block at 85′ that saved a goal, but most importantly he’s probably the responsible party on Cincinnati’s first goal from Keinan. Overall, I think Roberts wasn’t sharp on the night.

Grade: 5.5

Joe Greenspan 20 CB

Greenspan had important clearances at 27′ and 51′, but he’s the one that let Fanenedo Adi get out on the run, and then he couldn’t close him down on the dribble, so ultimately, this wasn’t a good game for Ensign Joe.

Grade: 5.5

Tobi Adewole 2 RB

It was Tobi Adewole who had that great pass at 48’ to Kay Banjo which he dribbled into the box to draw a foul leading to a PK chance. He’s also marking Dekel Keinan on the backside for that first Cincy goal. Mixed night for Tobi.

Grade: 6

Kenardo Forbes 11 DCM

In the 12th minute, Forbes won my heart by ripping the ball off his man with an in-stride tackle that he dribbled the other way and shot, pressing Cincy’s GK into making a good save. Forbes had the assist on Parks goal at 57′, and several other key passes on the night, and was my ‘Man of the Match’.

Grade: 7.5

Mouhamed Dabo 21 DCM

Dabo had several errant passes in the first half, and he whiffed on a volley attempt in the box early in the second. His positioning was good, but his defense was not great. Among the players that went the full 90, Dabo was the least effective.

Grade: 5

Christian Francois 7 AM

Cheetah was, as usual, a handful for Cincy, racing through the defense and slicing and dicing his defenders on several occasions. He had two shots, one blocked, but nothing really threatening on the night. He also closed up space very well in central midfield.

Grade: 6.5

Romeo Parkes AM – off at 78’

Playing as an attacking mid, Parkes had a long blast at 16’ that was close but wide, a ball into his feet at 30′ that he hesitated on and ultimately didn’t get to shoot, and of course the Hounds lone goal at 57′. A productive night.

Grade: 7

Kay Banjo 17 ST

Banjo had an awesome chance at 35’ but he was indecisive and held it far too long, and the shot saved

In the 50th minute, he was tasked with taking the penalty kick for the team. Banjo drew out a long stutter-step and blasted his shot 10 yards over the goal. Add to that a miss in the 63rd and a general inability to create dangerous runs or contribute in attack with hold up play, and Banjo’s night can be described ultimately as ‘poor’.

Grade: 5

SUB – Neco Brett CM – on at 70’

Brett had a great pair of shots at 83’, but both were saved.

Grade: 6

SUB – Ben Zemanski CM – on at 78’

Zemanski came on for Romeo Parkes, and the only thing he did was come on and get turned inside-out on Fanendo Adi’s game-winning goal. Uccch.

Grade: 4

Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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