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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 3, NY Red Bulls II 0

Photo credit - Riverhounds SC / Chris Cowger

Riverhounds SC 3, NY Red Bulls II  0


The Riverhounds SC fought off the early pressure from New York Red Bulls II, then coasted to a 3-0 win on Saturday at Highmark Stadium for its second straight win.

With this impressive win against second place Red Bulls II, the Hounds improve to an overall record of 4-2-7.

“Hopefully we’ll start to bring our wins total up. Tonight was a step in the right direction,” Bob Lilley, Riverhounds head coach said. “We’re by no means in a great spot in the league standings. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Steevan Dos Santos continued his excellent form of late with a goal and an assist. Neco Brett and Thomas Vancaeyezeele score the other goals for Pittsburgh.

It took 40 minutes for Pittsburgh to get the first goal, after facing lots of high pressure from the Baby Bulls.

In fact, it were the Red Bulls II who took the first three shots on frame, all handled by Morton, who finished with seven saves.

“They’re a good team. They’re really dynamic in the attacking third, we knew that coming in. I thought the guys, the back five and the three in the midfield did a really good job,” Morton said.  “In the first half when they had a lot of pressure, they did a really good job of keeping them at bay.”

While the Red Bulls kept trying to work short passes through the middle, the Hounds, coming out with same line-up in a 5-3-2 formation for the second week in a row, methodically worked to find opening left by the Red Bulls on counters.

“The last few teams we played send a lot of guys forward and they leave a lot of space,” Lilley explained. “We’ve done a good job of finding outlets and getting in behind teams early, if they are going to take that much risk then we have to get our outlets and be aggressive you know trying to create those chances.  We didn’t create a lot in the first half but I thought we found the right balls and found some balls in the box.”

Finally, in the 40th minute, Dos Santos received a ball at midfield, managed to keep possession, then turned to pass it for Neco Brett who was breaking free onside behind the NYRBII back line.

Brett received the pass, then with NY goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu coming off the line, chipped a perfectly placed ball into the back of the net.

“We have to see the movement of each other. I saw [Brett], he was running and there was a big gap between the defender,” Dos Santos said. “I just put the ball there and he scored a wonderful goal.”

Six minutes after the halftime break, and after veteran midfielder Kevin Kerr did some nice work on the left side to draw a corner kick, the hosts doubled their lead when forward Dos Santos turned provider to scorer as he turned in midfielder Kenardo Forbes’ corner kick.

“I ran near post and the ball came straight to my head. I just head to put my head out and direct to the goal,” Dos Santos added.

Pittsburgh found their third in the 58th minute, again off a corner kick, as a headed effort from Dos Santos was saved from close range only for defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele to knock in the rebound. New York’s evening got worse when midfielder Jean-Christophe Koffi was sent off on a second yellow card after receiving both cautions within three minutes. Pittsburgh’s win marks the second consecutive victory in which they scored at least three goals.

Things got chippy as Red Bulls II midfielder Jean-Christophe Koffi committed two fouls within a three period, earning the New York player a red card.

A persistent infringement in the 63rd minute and an elbowing foul in the 65th minute resulted in Koffi’s ejection from the match.

With the Hounds playing up a man for the remainder of the match, they flipped the switch in the possession battle as the Red Bulls II started to chase the game.

In the past two matches, the Hounds have outscored opponents by an 8-0 margin.

“The game before, and this game, everything came together,” Dos Santos said. “We scored a lot of goals, and didn’t concede goals.”

“I think we’re getting closer to where we want to be at. I think the last couple results have really showed who we are. Five goals last game, three goals tonight, two clean sheets,” Morton said. “We’re not giving up too many chances, I think it’s two really good team performances and we just keep building off results.”

Neco Brett’s goal made him the ninth player to score 20 career goals with the Hounds.

Look for more post game reaction and Analysis/Player Grades to follow on Pittsburgh Soccer Now on Sunday and Monday.  

Gameday updates:

8:59 – It’s over!

Riverhounds defeat NY Red Bulls II by score of 3-0 for the third time in five years at Highmark Stadium.

8:47 – couple of late chances for Volesky, but one was off side, and other, on nice ball from Mertz shot was saved.

8:46 – Anthony Velarde now enters for Kevin Kerr. 85′

8:41 – First subs for Hounds.

For second straight game, following a new formula.
Get up 3-0, then swap your forwards.
Dos Santos/Brett OUT
Mark Forrest/Christian Volesky IN

8:35 – Down a man, looks very much like Red Bulls II have dropped its high press.  Hounds knocking it around pretty effectively. (70′)

8:28 – Robbie Mertz and then Noah Franke on end of some physical play from RBNYII’s Jean Koffi, who subsequently booked for his second yellow — and is now sent off. Hounds playing up a man for rest of the way. 65′ 3-0 PIT

8:21 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – 3-0 (57′)

Thomas Vancaeyezeele puts it in after Dos Santos’ header, from another corner from Forbes

Here’s the Dos Santos’ goal…

8:14 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – 2-0 (50′)

Steevan Dos Santos header off Forbes corner attempt.

Kevin Kerr set up the corner with terrific move to get up the left side end line.

8:09 – second half starts, no subs

8:01 – Halftime stats of note:

Possession:  NYRBII 58%/PIT 42%

Shots:  NYRB 6-4 (3-1 on target)

Three saves for Hounds keeper Kyle Morton

Corners:  NYRBII 2-1

Crosses:  PIT 15-7

This was Brett’s team leading fifth goal of the season.

Here’s a look at the goal…


7:47 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – 1-0

Neco Brett

What a finish! Chips it over Red Bulls keeper after getting brilliant ball from Dos Santos who held up the ball beautifully in the counter-attack build-up.  1-0 Pgh

7:41 – Vanceayezeele battles hard to draw foul on right side box. Forbes’ free kick intended for Kerr cleared away. James redirects toward goal, and Tommy V’s header effort misses. Hounds yet to put shot on frame.

7:37 – Bulls ping it around near top of box and again it’s Stroud with shot from top of box — right at Morton. Three saves now for Hounds keeper.

7:35- Hounds keeper Kyle Morton catches one in bread basket after close range shot from NYRBII’s Ben Mines after corner.


7:30 – Hounds with best chance so far. (24′)

Kerr finds Noah Franke breaking on right side.
Franke whips in a stinging ball into goal box, Dos Santos and Brett both there but can’t connect.

7:18 – first shot attempt comes from NYRBII’s Jared Stroud — from top of box after connecting a few passes. Red Bulls II are very effective working the ball around in tight spots.

7:16 – first time Dos Santos goes down about 35 yards from goal. Free kick from Forbes just misses right of goal. Intended for Neco Brett.

7:11 – Red Bulls with plenty of pressure early, committing plenty of bodies forward for two or so uneasy minutes for Hounds defenders, but can’t get shot away.

7:06 –  We’ve kicked off at Highmark. From far sideline at midfield, Hounds’ Steevan Dos Santos sends a ball over all NYRBII red shirts, finds Neco Brett in too good to be true ball — but Neco’s offside. 1′

Riverhounds Starting XI:

GK – Kyle Morton

D – Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Noah Franke, Ryan James

MF – Kenardo Forbes, Kevin Kerr, Robbie Mertz

F – Steevan Dos Santos, Neco Brett

Available players off bench include:

Austin Pack (GK), Uche Uzo, Dani Rovira, Sam Kahsai, Anthony Velarde, Christian Volesky, Mark Forrest

NY Red Bulls II starters:

Starting lineups will be posted here at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Soccer Scribe’s projected Hounds starting XI:

GK – Kyle Morton

D – Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Noah Franke, Ryan James

MF – Kenardo Forbes, Kevin Kerr, Robbie Mertz

F – Steevan Dos Santos, Neco Brett

No changes to the Hounds injury report:

Mouhamed Dabo – Out (hamstring)
Prosper Figbe – Out (knee)
.Caleb Smith – Out (groin)

Match Information

Saturday, June 22 | 7 p.m.

Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA


Live StatisticsUSL Championship Match Center

PSN Coverage:   John Krysinsky @pghsoccerscribe; Rachael McKriger @RachaelMcKriger 

Live Updates: Twitter #PITvNY

Preview / Scouting Report on NYRBII

Preview: Riverhounds SC vs New York Red Bulls II


PSN Riverhounds Coverage from this week & more on #PITvNY

Riverhounds SC Notebook: Morton in groove; Dover’s Gold Cup test

View From The Booth: What’s next after Atlanta laugher?


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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