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Hounds ‘make strides’ in 1-0 preseason defeat of Bethlehem Steel FC

Through five previous matches this preseason, the Riverhounds SC faced college teams. On Sunday, in its first encounter against a pro side, the Hounds defeated cross-state USL foe Bethlehem Steel FC, 1-0, at Highmark Stadium.

It was newcomer, Christian Volesky who put the Hounds on the board in the 44th minute finishing off a textbook build-up of one-touch passes.

“I thought the two halves in Pitt we played good soccer. Today, I wasn’t thrilled with the first half,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “Today, the second half was good. I do feel like we’re making strides. We still have a lot of work to do.”

The Hounds struck first in the 44th minute. After consecutive passes strung together by the midfield, Kenardo Forbes found Neco Brett, who was playing an outside attacking midfield spot. Brett caught up to the ball by the end line, then delivered a one-time arching volley toward Volesky.

Volesky redirected his volley into the bottom-right corner of the net.

“Neco’s a forward, and he knows how another forward wants the ball,” Volesky, who was part of Lilley’s 2015 Rochester Rhinos USL Championship squad, said. I made a changing angle type of run, and he waited for me until the right time to send the ball. It was a good finish of good team play. It was nice to get one in the back of the net. It was fun.”

In addition, playing in a holding midfield spot along side Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Forbes had another couple attempts at the net in the first half. The midfielder just missed on a header stemming from a corner kick as well as a rebound off of a blocked shot.

There was also a moment about 15 minutes into the match where Forbes exchanged some heated words with Steel FC veteran James Chambers after a hard foul as the two team leaders picked up where they left off after last season’s intense playoff match last November when Steel FC came away from Highmark Stadium with a win in a match that went to penalty kicks.

Hounds can’t put away Steel FC, lose historic home playoff match on PKs

Throughout the second half, the Hounds kept possession and both teams had few offensive opportunities.

Riverhounds SC will next play the University of Akron at 3 p.m. on Friday at Highmark Stadium. All games at Highmark Stadium are free to attend for the public.

Editors Note: Mark Goodman and I will have more coverage including more from Volesky, the Hounds goalkeeper situation and our weekly preseason notebook in the coming days.  


First half– Ben Lundgaard – Caleb Smith, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Skelton, Jordan Dover – Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kenardo Forbes – Neco Brett, Nazeem Bartman, Devyn Jambga – Christian Volesky

Second half– Kyle Morton – Ryan James, Uchenna Uzo, Daniel Mukuna, Dani Rovira – Mouhamed Dabo, Sammy Kahsai – Mathias Vidangossy, Anthony Velarde, Noah Franke – Steevan Dos Santos

Scoring Summary:

PIT – Christian Volesky 44’ (Neco Brett)


John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for 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 US. 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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