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FINAL: Charlotte Independence 1, Riverhounds SC 0

FINAL: Charlotte Independence 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 0 


Even having its match temporarily abandoned after 80 minutes due to repeated lightning strikes in the area, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC couldn’t extend its winning streak. losing to another team on a hot streak, Charlotte Independence, 1-0, at Matthews Sportsplex on Sunday evening.

“We didn’t start the game with intensity,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “We were reacting to the game. We let them play whatever they wanted in our end. When we do that, we’re ordinary and we get ourselves in trouble.”

Charlotte started out strongly and tested Riverhounds SC goalkeeper Austin Pack after just four minutes after the Independence weaved through the Pittsburgh midfield and produced a chance for forward Niki Jackson that Pack did well to keep out.

Persisting in attack, the hosts were able to get their goal through a moment of sharp thinking from midfielder Alex Martinez, who took a pass on the bounce and clipped an effort up and over Pack to take the lead.

Holding that advantage into the second half, Charlotte nearly found a second goal through Enzo Martinez when the forward recovered a ball from the Pittsburgh defense and charged at goal only to fire wide of goal in the end.

In the 80th minute, the match was temporarily abandoned due to lightning in the area and resumed after an approximate delay after 45 minutes.

Even upon the restart, Pittsburgh could not generate anything offensively as they failed to register a shot on target all night while Charlotte extended their unbeaten streak to six straight games.

“It’s disappointing because I think it could have been a better performance if we competed out of the gate.,” Lilley added. “After the goal, we played more on even terms.”

The Hounds will look to get back on track when USL Championship’s Eastern Conference front-running Tampa Bay Rowdies visit Highmark Stadium on Saturday (7 p.m. kickoff).



2nd half

9:52 – It’s over – Charlotte defeats Pittsburgh, 1-0, as Alex Martinez’s goal holds up.

Hounds win streak stopped at four games in a match where they really struggled to create chances. Overall record now stands at 6-3-7.  

Pretty amazing, Hounds have never beaten the Independence (0-6-5) since series began in 2015. 

And on the other side, since Mike Jeffries returned to the sideline, Charlotte is 3-0-3. Other teams around them have games in hand, but they’re now 11th and a point off the playoff positions

9:38 p.m. – Play has resumed in the 81st minute

9:05 p.m. –  It’s been a stale Riverhounds showing tonight.

No shots on frame through the first 80 minutes. They’re being out possessed, not badly, but still looking very much like the road team playing a 2-game in four day swing. That should be no excuse.

There’s still ten-plus minutes to salvage some points.

8:48 p.m. – 80′ – officials calling for WEATHER DELAY. As lightning spotted in the area.

75′- Final sub for Pittsburgh – Kevin Kerr in for Anthony Velarde

63′ – Hounds make first substitutions:

Steevan Dos Santos and Tobi Adewole come in for Uchenna Uzo and Mark Forrest

1st half –


Alex Martinez with a nice placement, chipping it in from just outside the box and over Hounds GK Austin Pack.

Riverhounds Starting Lineup:

GK – Austin Pack

D – Joe Greenspan, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Uchenna Uzo, Noah Franke, Ryan James

MF – Robbie Mertz, Anthony Velarde, Kenardo Forbes

F – Mark Forrest, Neco Brett

Available subs

Kyle Morton, Tobi Adewole, Steevan Dos Santos, Jordan Dover, Sammy Kahsai, Kevin Kerr, Christian Volesky

Charlotte’s lineup:



Sunday, July 7 |  7 p.m.

Sportsplex at Matthews, Charlotte, NC

Streaming: ESPN+

Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center

Live Updates: Twitter at @RiverhoundsSC and #CLTvPIT

At approximately 6:45 p.m. — we’ll post starting lineups here

12:58 p.m. – you may have heard, the U.S. Women’s National team won the World Cup.

Here’s our post-game reaction coverage from the South Side…

Pittsburgh Soccer Postgame: USWNT wins fourth World Cup


This will mark their second meeting this season. Charlotte and Pittsburgh tied their first meeting, 0-0, on May 25 at Highmark Stadium.

The Hounds are currently riding a four-game winning streak – the longest winning streak in the Eastern Conference. Most recently, the club defeated Bethlehem Steel FC, 1-0, on Independence Day.

Also on July 4, Charlotte tied North Carolina FC, 1-1. 


Since these teams last met, the Independence have strung together a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3).

Still, here’s Mark Goodman‘s very relevant Scouting Report which provides plenty of insight on the Hounds opponent on Sunday night.

Preview and Scouting Report: Charlotte Independence vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds


The Hounds and Independence will both have a short turnaround. The Hounds are coming off a hard-fought, 1-0 win vs Bethlehem Steel FC on Thursday in its annual Fourth of July match.

Here’s some of our coverage from Thursday:

Post-match reaction from Matt Harkins

Post-match reaction: Hounds Extend Winning Streak To Four

Analysis / Player Grades from John Krysinsky

Player Grades & Analysis: Forbes delivers decisive strike, Hounds shut out Steel FC amid rockets red glare


Here are some more fun facts about the Hounds and this match… 

  • This will mark their second meeting this season. Charlotte and Pittsburgh tied their first meeting, 0-0, on May 25 at Highmark Stadium. 
  • The Hounds are currently riding a four-game winning streak – the longest winning streak in the Eastern Conference. Most recently, the club defeated Bethlehem Steel FC, 1-0, on Independence Day.
  • Also on July 4, Charlotte tied North Carolina FC, 1-1. The Independence have strung together a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3).
  • In their last three meetings dating back to last season, Pittsburgh and Charlotte have tied three straight matches. 
  • Pittsburgh has scored at least one goal in six straight matches. The last time the club was shut out came against Charlotte on May 25. 
  • The Hounds are sixth in the Eastern Conference with a +12 goal differential. The Black and Gold has outscored its opposition 13-1 over the last four matches. 
  • Riverhounds SC has the best winning streak in the Eastern Conference (four games). 
  • This is the second time in the Highmark Stadium era (since 2013) that the Hounds have posted a four-game winning streak. The last time the team achieved this feat occurred in 2013.
  • Pittsburgh is tied for first in the USL Championship with a 22 percent conversion rate. 
  • Thomas Vancaeyezeele is the only Hound to have at least 30 tackles (37), clearances (39) and interceptions (34). 
  • Kenardo Forbes paces the team with 36 chances created this season, which ranks seventh in the Eastern Conference. 
  • The Hounds are undefeated (4-0-0) when forward Steevan Dos Santos has scored a goal. 
  • Pittsburgh is on pace for 13 clean sheets this season. This would rank as its second-highest total only to the 17 shutouts it racked up one year ago. 
  • Riverhounds SC is also on pace to score 63 goals this season. This would tie its single-season record high, which was set in its inaugural season of 1999. 
  • Since Bob Lilley took over as head coach leading into the 2018 season, the Hounds are allowing 0.89 goals per game (all competitions). 
  • During its four-game winning streak, Pittsburgh is allowing just 3.25 shots on goal per game. Last time out against Bethlehem Steel FC, the squad did not allow a shot on net.

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

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