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Riverhounds totally outclassed by RGV in USL eCup

Riverhounds totally outclassed by RGV in USL eCup

In real life, Kenardo Forbes is a fantastic midfielder. A tenacious ball-winner and defender. Absolutely silky smooth as he glides across the field in possession. A dependable conduit, you cannot take the rock from him. A true backline shield. And he can play a dead ball with laser-like accuracy from 35 yards out to just about anywhere he wants.

Now take all those superlatives I said about Kenny playing soccer in real life. Scratch ’em all, flip it and reverse it. Because in Rocket League, a soccer video game where remote control cars battle 1v1 on a digital pitch, Kenardo Forbes is absolutely, abysmally terrible.

Forbes manned the controller for the opening match of the USL Rocket League eCup this afternoon against Anarbol Villareal, equipment man for USL Championship’s Rio Grande Valley Toros. The master of the boot room gave Kenny the boot in short work, winning the best-of-three series with a pair of dominant wins. RGV won the first match 14-0, and pummeled the virtual Riverhounds 16-2 in the second match.

The USL eCup was created to give football fans something to cheer for while we await escaping the monotony of quarantine in our homes and apartments, as we all do our part to social distance, flatten the curve, and beat the coronavirus. The New York Times writer Donald MacNeil Jr. explained how we beat this thing by saying this: “If it were possible to wave a magic wand and make all Americans freeze in place for 14 days while sitting six feet apart, epidemiologists say, the whole epidemic would sputter to a halt.” By that logic, folks, remember that sitting on your butt and watching Rocket League is an act of patriotic lifesaving.

Let’s all take a moment to recall that Kenny is really good at *actual* football, even if he’s crap at video games.

 

Participants and winners of the eCup are competing on behalf of a host of coronavirus-related charities. Forbes and the Riverhounds are playing for the Allegheny Health Network COVID-19 Assistance Fund, which will provide immediate resources to address the emerging needs of AHN, its caregivers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can visit supportahn.org for more information.

Kenny and the Hounds are down, but not out, in the eCup. The tourney’s format is for the 32 teams to play in eight separate groups, with the top two teams advancing. The Riverhounds were randomly drawn into a group with RGV Toros, San Antonio FC, and El Paso Locomotive. They play again on April 7 and April 10 – check the Riverhounds website here for more info.

After this opening shellacking, I can’t say I’m optimistic that Forbes will make it to the knockout round, which takes place April 13 to April 24. Never mind actually winning a match – after today’s showing, I’d just like to see if Kenardo can make the next matches a little more respectable. You know, lose by a touchdown or less at least.

It isn’t much, but it’s all we’ve got. The USL season is currently suspended until May 10, although it is certainly a strong possibility that that suspension will be extended further.

That is unfortunately plenty of time for the Riverhounds and their fans to get good at Rocket League, FIFA 20, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Animal Crossing, and, especially, Solitaire.

For “highlights” of the match (strong emphasis on those quotation marks) , and a twitter gif recap,  check the embedded tweets below.

Game 1:

Game 2:

Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

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