Connect with us

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Analysis & Player Grades: Hounds ‘Can’t wait forever to get season going’

Neco Brett

Riverhounds Head Coach Bob Lilley‘s post-game comments after his club settled for a 2-2 draw vs Ottawa, provided plenty of insight into what’s been ailing his team this year.

Hounds fail to ‘tighten things up’, settle for another 2-2 draw

If you can take anything away from Lilley’s 11-and-a-half minute post-game session with the media, it would be this: Mistakes and errors in the most critical moments are keeping his team from finishing off games.

The Hounds’ most tenured player, Kevin Kerr, who scored the game’s first goal expressed his disappointment with letting three points slip away on what seems like more than a few occasions this year.

“We’re craving it, we’re working hard through it, it feels like we’ve thrown a few away recently,” said Kerr. “We got to keep going, we’ve made a couple silly mistakes, the World’s not against each of us. We know there things we can take care of, we can fix, we just can’t wait forever to get our season going you know.”

And with that, it’s time to take a look, player-by-player at their performance on Saturday, while they’ve collectively come up short as a group, there’s a mixed bag of positive and negative takeaways from this’s game’s player grades.

Player Grades

Austin Pack – 4.5 – things were going swell, made two saves, until he had trouble handling the Daniels’ shot, and couldn’t secure the ball. 

Ryan James – 6.5 – Quality outing. Was dangerous on left side, and one of five crosses resulted in a goal. Was part of defending and trying to slow down former Hound Francois on right flank, with seven tackles, a clearance and two interceptions. 

Tobi Adewole – 6 – team high five interceptions as Ottawa tried its share of through balls for Samb and Francois that Adewole stepped in to take away. 

Thomas Vancaeyezeele – 4 – tough night for Thomas. Hounds were pretty effective in playing the ball out through the back line, and he was a big part of that (88% passing accuracy). But, picked up a yellow card for late challenge, then had the foul (for second time this year) that led to penalty. Sure, it might have been a questionable call, but coach Lilley pointed out, it was a one-man counter attack, and that one man was on the end line without much support, and Vancayezeele went down to make a challenge when he could’ve probably played the position, and not the ball. 

Joe Greenspan – 5.5 – quiet night — only one clearance as Ottawa avoided playing a lot of balls through the air in his direction.

Dani Rovira – 5 – was more involved in getting forward to stretch the field. Playing with more confidence, even created once chance. When defending had mixed results, winning only one of five duels, and didn’t have any clearances, blocks or interceptions. 

Noah Franke (86’) – N/R – late sub. Brought some energy. Lilley thought he could’ve been more effective with crosses into box. 

Kenardo Forbes – 5.5 – Solid in possession (85% pass accuracy) and created a pair of chances including the ‘hockey assist’ that set up the second goal. Wasn’t enough on night, as Hounds collective midfield inability to close space on second goal was a reason Daniels got that shot away from 25 yards.  

Robbie Mertz – 6 – another solid night, created three chances, team-best 90% passing accuracy and had the assist on Brett’s goal. Is really seizing spot in Hounds central midfield. Defensive let downs were collective, and Lilley identified the midfielders for not closing space better. 

Kevin Kerr – 6 – fantastic and well-timed run to finish off the first goal. Won 8 of 10 duels. Lilley wasn’t happy with midfielders’ ability to close space and ‘tighten’ things up when the Hounds took the lead. 

Christian Volesky (83’) – 7 – Has been Hounds’ most productive sub off bench this year. For the second time this year, in the 90th minute set up a penalty getting fouled in the box. Maybe coach Lilley should let him take one of those for once. 

Steevan Dos Santos – 5.5 – He’s always at the center of things, doing the dirty work (three fouls/three fouls won) to keep Hounds possessions going, winning a ton of duels (13 of 17). Dropped down a bit into the midfield for much of this match to do so, with Brett playing higher up. As a result, didn’t have any shotsWhen back defending, stepped on Christiano Francois’ foot to set up close range free kick. 

Anthony Velarde (86’) – N/R – had that one shot chance, but couldn’t find the opening as it was saved by Callum. 

Neco Brett – 5 – good and bad night for Neco. Solid finish for his third goal of season, but unable to convert PK that would have won it. 

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).

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

Subscribe to PGH Soccer Now

Enter your email address to subscribe to PGH Soccer Now and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More in Pittsburgh Riverhounds