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Preview: Can anyone stop Tyler Pasher?

Preview: Can anyone stop Tyler Pasher?

The Riverhounds head to Indianapolis to play Indy Eleven for the second time this season with hopes of staying atop USL Championship Group F for another week. Last week’s thumping victory over NYRB II sent the Hounds atop the group – tied with Hartford at 12 points, but ahead by a wide margin on goal differential.

You may recall the Riverhounds last match against Indy took place here in PGH, and was a tightly contested, low-scoring affair from whistle to whistle. With perhaps seconds to go, it looked like the Riverhounds would hang on and get a point from a nil-nil draw. And then Tyler Pasher, in the 96th minute, pulled out pure magic to steal all three points at the death.

Pasher’s been tearing up the league all season. The former Riverhound and Canadian Youth International has 7 goals so far, putting him atop the league in the race for the Golden Boot alongside Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings.

Indy and the Riverhounds have both scored prolifically this season (I kinda can’t believe I just wrote that), as the Hounds rank 2nd in USL-C in goal scoring with 18 goals while Indy sits 3rd with 14 goals. That similarity is misleading for two reasons. First, the Riverhounds have gorged themselves on goals from bottom-table Philadelphia Union II, bagging 10 goals from their young and inexperienced cross-state rivals. Indy, meanwhile, have one big result against a poorly performing team, a 4-2 beat down of Memphis 901 FC, and a 4-1 win over a strong Hartford Athletic squad. Second, while the Riverhounds have spread the goalscoring around – getting 4 from Steevan Dos Santos, 3 each from Robbie Mertz and Anthony Velarde, and 2 from Ropapa Mensah – Indy is pretty much the Tyler Pasher Show. He’s got 7 tallies,while nobody else on the team has more than 1 goal.

So my humble advice for the black and yellow is simple: stop Pasher. Man-mark him; double team him in the final third; overlap zones on his side; deny the passes into him; hack him to death. Whatever it takes, stop him, because Indy have yet to prove that they’ve got other options on their team that can hurt you. If the Riverhounds can generate a little more offense than last time, and can contain Pasher, they give themselves a pretty good chance of victory against an opponent that have historically been nearly unbeatable at home. Indy Eleven have a 16-4-1 regular-season record at Lucas Oil Stadium over the past two seasons, with their only defeat coming against Sporting Kansas City II just two weeks ago.

Oh yeah, final thought: these special Indy 500 kits for this week only are absolute πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯.

Last Week’s Indy Eleven Lineup

Previous Match Summary

FINAL: Indy Eleven 1, Riverhounds SC 0

Full Tactical and Personnel Preview from Previous Match

Preview: Indy-Pittsburgh is an early clash of titans

 

Match Information

Date: Saturday, Aug. 15
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN
Television: 22 The Point
Streaming:Β ESPN+
Live Statistics:Β USL Championship Match Center
Live Updates:Β  pittsburghsoccernow.com; Twitter at @RiverhoundsSCΒ and #INDvPIT

Image of Tyler Pasher from USL via twitter

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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