Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (15-4-11, 58 pts) vs Atlanta United 2 (6-17-9, 27 pts)
Wednesday, Oct. 10 – 7 p.m.
8:34 – The game may be over, and the broadcast is coming to an end. Hurricane Michael may really be raging through Coolray Field, and Hounds coach Bob Lilley may still be giving his players an earful out in the center circle after the match.
8:29 – It’s OVER. Riverhounds 1, Atlanta United2 1.
Hounds (59 pts) are now locked into third place in USL Eastern Conference — with one more regular season game (at NYRBII on Sun) left to go
8:25 – Hounds with decided advantages with crosses (25-5) and corners (10-1), but very little to show for it as they’ve reached stoppage time. Five minutes added.
8:18 – Corner after corner for the Hounds, but ATL holding strong.
8:17 – Holland had a close range chance but nice save by Kann at the near post. (83′)
8:13 – Hounds going all in on the attack — as Romeo Parkes and Neco Brett come in for Ray Lee and Kay Banjo.
With Lee out — look for Tommy V to slip back deeper in formation.
8:10 – Kick save Lynd. man the Hounds left ATL2 with lots of room on that counter chance
8:07 – Another booking to Pittsburgh — Lubahn picking up the yellow
8:01 – Joe Holland is first sub for the Hounds. Comes in for Ben Fitzpatrick. (66′)
7:46 – GOAL – ATL2 (51′) – Laurent Kissiedou
Hounds can’t clear ball in from corner kick — and nice second effort by Kissiedou.
Shaky defending there for Hounds
— USL (@USL) October 10, 2018
7:45 – Nice save by Lynd bails out poor clearance by defender (Pratzner?) but sets up corner kick.
7:40 – second half started
7:22 – Halftime
Like first game in May, ATL with possession edge (53-47) Hounds clearly more dangerous though with edge in corners (4-0), shots (12-3, 4-0 on target) & crosses (12-2)
7:18 pm – Hugh Roberts picks up yellow card for a bump of Sandoval after he’s caught in tough position.
7:01 pm – GOAL – Riverhounds (27′)
Thomas Vancaeyezeele header from a free kick into the box from Christiano Francois.
Well struck service in for Francois — and Tommy V was in perfect position. Well executed — and really made it look easy.
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) October 10, 2018
6:36 pm – teams have kicked off
Hounds wearing all white kits tonight.
6:08 pm Apparently kickoff has been moved up to get the game in before Hurricane Michael arrives in Atlanta, Georgia area.
Riverhounds starting XI
At least from the initial looks of it — a 4-2-3-1.
D – Ray Lee, Todd Pratzner, Hugh Roberts, Andy Lubahn
MF – Ben Fitzpatrick, Kenardo Forbes, Christiano Francois, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Mouhamed Dabo
F – Kay Banjo
Mike Kirk (G), Tobi Adewole, Neco Brett, Jordan Dover, Joe Greenspan, Joe Holland, Romeo Parkes
This match will mark the Hounds’ first-ever visit to Coolray Field. The two sides have met once this year already with the Hounds prevailing 1-0 at Highmark Stadium in late April.
While Pittsburgh is assured of at least one home game, they’re pushing for more. They enter this match with a chance at the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, trailing Louisville City FC by five points, the Hounds will likely have to win out while hoping their Kentucky counterparts drop points at home against Indy on Saturday.
Despite the circumstances, and a desire to push for a six-point road trip, Riverhounds coach Bob Lilley did acknowledge there would be some rotation in his line-up to get his team prepared for the playoffs. That would make plenty of sense — so expect to see the line-ups to vary both on Wednesday in Atlanta, and on Sunday in New Jersey when the Hounds take on the NY Red Bulls II in the final USL match of the season (at 5 p.m.)
In the previous match in May, the Hounds came out in a 3-5-1-1 or 3-5-2 — the Hounds were patient and content to allow Atlanta United 2 to have the majority of possession (60% to 40%) throughout the match.
Despite being out possessed, the Hounds still generated the edge in shots (9-7, 3-0 on target) and crosses (18-17). In the end, early in the season when the Hounds were playing really good defense, it proved to be a classic ‘Bob Lilley special’ scoreline of 1-0.
John’s anticipated Riverhounds Starting XI:
Mike Kirk (G)
Todd Pratzner – Joe Greenspan – Tobi Adewole
Ray Lee -Thomas Vancaeyezeele – Ben Fitzpatrick – Kenardo Forbes – Andy Lubahn
Kay Banjo – Romeo Parkes
MORE ON ATL UTD 2
The Riverhounds better not sleep on this Atlanta United 2 team.
Head coach Bob Lilley said on Saturday night after the 0-0 draw with FC Cincinnati that he was expecting a number of Atlanta’s first team players to be in the line-up on Wednesday.
Atlanta picked up four points in the past two games, including a 2-1 win against fourth-place Charleston.
Romario Williams earned USL Player of the Week honors as he scored both goals as Atlanta rallied from a halftime deficit on Sunday evening to take a 2-1 victory against the Battery to cap a positive week for the first-year side.
Add some of the young talent in the ATL United system that includes 17 year-old Kendall Edwards and 18 year-old Andrew Carleton, who has featured regularly in for various US National teams. Carleton had a strong showing in his appearance at Highmark Stadium in May, holding his own in the central midfield battles with the likes of Ben Zemanski, Kevin Kerr and Kenardo Forbes.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“It’s not going to be an easy week for us. If we don’t go get results these last two games, we’re going to finish fourth. And then you go potentially on the road even if you win your second game.”
“It’s going to be hot there. It gonna be 81 degrees here, so I can only imagine how warm it’s going to be there. It’s going to be tricky. I am expecting we’re going to see a pretty good Atlanta team,” Lilley said. “New York can beat anybody. Right now, there’s no easy games, and that’s the way the playoffs are, so we should embrace these, line them up, try to figure out how to make sure when three points is out there, we know how to go out and grab it.”
Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley
“We’re professionals. We’re used to this. So we have to go out there and take care of business.”
Joe Greenspan, Riverhounds defender who was also named to the USL Team of the Week for last week’s performance against FC Cincinnati.
Greenspan led the team with 14 clearances, as well as pitched in five interceptions and won 8-of-12 duels. The clean sheet effort marked the second for the Hounds in their past three matches and only the fourth time all season Cincinnati has been held scoreless.
Atlanta overall record: 6-17-9
Atlanta home record: 4-5-6
Pittsburgh overall record: 15-4-13
Pittsburgh away record: 6-2-6
HOUNDS INJURY REPORT
Kevin Kerr – Questionable (Calf)
Kyle Morton – Out (Lower-body)
April 28, 2018, at Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh 1, Atlanta 0
PGH – Neco Brett 26’ (Christiano François)
Goals: Neco Brett (15)
Assists: Kenardo Forbes (8)
Points: Neco Brett (37)
Saves: Dan Lynd (40)
Save %: Dan Lynd (.702)
GAA: Dan Lynd (0.74)
Atlanta United 2
Goals: Jon Gallagher (6)
Assists: Jon Gallagher (5)
Points: Jon Gallagher (17)
Saves: Paul Christensen (35)
Save %: Alec Kann (.667)
GAA: Alec Kann (1.50)
LAST TIME OUT…
Pittsburgh 0, FC Cincinnati 0
Dan Lynd – Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Jordan Dover (Ray Lee 88’) – Ben Zemanski (Joe Holland 75’), Mouhamed Dabo – Romeo Parkes, Kenardo Forbes, Christiano François – Neco Brett (Kay Banjo 75’)
Atlanta United 2
Atlanta 2, Charleston 1
CHS – Ataulla Guerra 27’ (Angelo Kelly-Rosales)
ATL – Romario Williams 48’ (Andrew Carleton)
ATL – Romario Williams 65’ (Andrew Carleton)
Alec Kann – José Hernández, A.J. Cochran, Miles Robinson, Shawn Nicklaw, Jon Gallagher – Andrew Carleton (Jack Metcalf 86’), Oliver Shannon, Christopher Goslin – Romario Williams (Jackson Conway 74’), Lagos Kunga (Devon Sandoval 61’)