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Ryan James earns spot on USL Championship Team of the Week

Ryan James (pictured right) with Kevin Kerr (left), earned USL Championship Team of the Week honors for a terrific game on Saturday (Photo courtesy Rachael McKriger)

They may have taken away his goal (and Kevin Kerr’s assist), but Ryan James still earned some recognition for his performance in the Riverhounds SC’s 2-2 come-from-behind draw vs Nashville SC on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium.

Against his former team, James registered quite a night, with eight interceptions, made 10 recoveries and played a key role in the Hounds’ late equalizer — volleying a shot that ricocheted off a Nashville defender, and into the goal that set off an exuberant celebration.

PITvNSH Takeaways & Player Grades: James, subs fuel frantic comeback

On the game tying goal, it was the venerable Riverhound, Kevin Kerr, who was there to set it up. Christian Volesky, who scored earlier in the match, won a ball played into the box, then played it back to Dover, who then found Kerr breaking wide toward the corner.

The Hounds veteran had plenty of room to size up a perfectly played ball to the back post.

As that play built up, James was watching it develop– then he made his move.

“I knew I had to get there, and make sure I was on the end of that one,” James said. “I think everyone just knows at home, especially when you’re at home, whether you’re away or at home, and you’re down a goal or down two goals, you just have to gamble sometimes and try to get the goal and try to salvage some points.”

Despite a tough stretch of the game which the Hounds fell behind 2-0, and were outplayed, James was glad to help give his team a boost.

“Everyone just comes together, you put a couple positive vibes in, and everyone’s now thinking positive again,” James said. “You kind of flip the switch and you’re on the other end of it. You’re no longer thinking negative, you’re thinking positive.”

Nashville’s Ken Tribbett, who scored the game’s opening goal, then assisted on the second, earned an honorable mention on the Team of the Week too.

James is the second Riverhounds SC player to earn a spot on the team of the week, after Kerr’s week five appearance when he scored and assisted on two of the Hounds three goals in a 3-1 win over Hartford.

Kerr earns spot on USL Team of Week for standout performance in home opener

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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