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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Final: Riverhounds SC 5, Loudoun United FC 0

USL Championship — Atlantic Division

Riverhounds SC (13-6-5, 44 points)


Loudoun United FC (3-16-2, 11 points)

Saturday, Sept. 11 |  7 p.m.  |  Highmark Stadium
TV: 22 The Point  |  Streaming: ESPN+  |  Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center

Game Recap

“I hate playing against this team,” captain Kenardo Forbes stated.

Well, Kenny doesn’t like playing them, but he certainly enjoys scoring against them, as the leader of his side scored two beautiful goals in helping his team win 5-0 against a young Loudoun side.

In an early start to the game, there were a few mistakes by the Riverhounds back line, that almost resulted into giving up goals. “We sat back and weren’t even lethal on the counter,” Head Coach Bob Lilley said. “There were too many careless turnovers. Loudoun is a high energy group so we can’t start that slow against them.”

Loudoun had no shots on target and only two shots all game, but early on when the game was tied 0-0, Jeremy Garay of Loudoun United stole a ball off a bad turnover and rang one off the crossbar, almost giving them the lead.

Those are the early failures Bob was talking about. “It was a 1 goal game for basically 60 minutes. It needs to be better. We can’t beat teams like Miami and Tampa Bay playing like we did in those first 60 minutes.”

Todd Wharton scored a tap in off a corner kick deflection 20 minutes in but finally the game did open up after an hour. Forbes scored another brilliant volley past the keeper on a nice setup pass from Cicerone in the 58th minute.

Next, it was Louis Perez that would hop on the field and get down the line to then give Cicerone an easy tap in for his 14th goal of the season.

After a commanding 3-0 lead, the Riverhounds didn’t hold back and finally found their groove, thanks to Ezra Armstrong coming off the bench. Going in on that left side for Dani Rovira he made simple passes to Tommy Williamson in the 80th minute and then two minutes later, the same exact pass to Forbes who curled it in for his third of the year.

“Ezra is quick and goes forward,” Lilley stated. “He just needs to get more consistent for us. He has explosive qualities. He didn’t come in as a defender but we’ve turned him into a wing back.”

Lilley stated post game that the midfield was not very good, and that he expects more. They stopped tracking defensively he said and gave the back three center backs too much to handle with.

Moving on, Pittsburgh will only be playing one game a week, so there will be more rest and not several games all at once like in July.

Lilley said, “There’ll be less rotation and mainly sticking with the top guys, but the subs are still very important. A lot of our best players didn’t have their best night, so I have some things to reconsider as we head down to Charlotte.”

For some milestone tracking, Danny Vitiello is now 5th all time in shut outs for the Riverhounds SC. And, King Kenny Forbes is top 10 all time in points in the organization with 53.

All-time, Pittsburgh is 8-1-0 against Loudoun and they’re 7-3-2 in front of the home crowd at Highmark this year.


Gameday Updates 

90+’ – Louis Perez gets a yellow card last minute here. Gets into an argument with the high school goalie on Loudoun.

90′ – Only 2 minutes of stoppage time added here.

86′ – Tom Judge on for Russell Cicerone. The 2nd leading goal scorer in the USL getting a well deserved rest for the rest of the night.

82′ – 5-0 Riverhounds!! 2 goals within a minute. Ezra Armstrong slides one in back post to Tommy Williamson for his 5th goal of the season and then passes one to Forbes who curls it in far post. Forbes now with 3 goals on the year, and Armstrong now with 2 assists.

79′ – Loudoun subs Aboukoura on for Downs. Riverhounds replace Rovira and Dixon with Williamson and Dover. Pittsburgh only has 1 sub left and Loudoun is out of subs.

75′ – Another goal for the Hounds!! Louis Perez gets down the goal line and crosses the ball with the outside of his left foot onto Cicerone just a few yards out. He back heels it in. 3-0. Cicerone now with 14 goals and Perez with his second assist of the season.

69′ – Loudoun has made some subs. Gabarra, Paz, Bolivar and Ferrin on for DeShields, Saravia, Motesdeoca and Gamble.

65′ – Some substitutions for the Hounds. Louis Perez and Ezra Armstrong on for Anthony Velarde and Todd Wharton.

58′ – WHAT A GOAL FROM KING KENNY!! Cicerone flicks it on to Forbes who volleys it into the right side. Hounds up 2-nil. Forbes is now in the top 10 in points in the Riverhounds organization.

53′ – Alright, there’s been a foul or offsides call every minute. No speed of play at all right now.

45′ – Second half is on. Hounds looking for that commanding 2-0 lead.

45′ – Velarde sets up Cicerone but a shot right at the keeper. That’ll do it for the half. Riverhounds up 1-0. Defense just needs to clean up the passes. Forbes and Dixon are playing very good out there.

42′ – Dixon with another scoring chance, just hits this one over the crossbar. A great pass from Cicerone. Those two always connect well. Hounds still up 1-0 but feels like it should be more.

38′ – Another great buildup play from Pittsburgh but one too many passes in the box. Need to just execute better in the final third.

35′ – An offsides called on Loudoun, and I honestly don’t think it was offsides. Reminds me of WPIAL refs.

26′ – Another great diagonal ball played by the captain Forbes to Dixon. Dixon wins them another corner kick. Hounds seem to be settling in now, much better play on the ball.

20′ – Goal for the Hounds off a corner kick! That might be the second goal or third off a corner kick. Not sure, but nonetheless Wharton taps it in off the goalie’s big rebound.

18′ – Dixon flicks on to Cicerone but just caught offsides. Close chance

14′ – Garay on Loudoun almost scores. A terrible giveaway by Wiedt in front of the 18 goes directly to Garay. He takes a great shot that hits the crossbar. I’m sure Bob Lilley would like to see crisper passes here soon.

8′ – Now Loudoun gets a corner kick, they get a head on it but it’s over the net. Some sloppy play in the midfield from the Riverhounds results in a turnover leading to that corner.

5′ – Early on the Hounds are pressing hard. Have already had two corner kicks.

Look for starting lineups and gameday updates to be posted here.

Recent PSN Riverhounds SC Coverage

Lilley determined to push Hounds to a strong finish


The Hounds (13-6-5) are riding a five-match unbeaten streak after Alex Dixon scored a 90th-minute goal to earn a 1-1 tie last Saturday at San Antonio FC. Every point is valuable in the current Atlantic Division race, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Hounds and Miami FC continue to jostle for position with only the top two getting a home playoff game.

Some regular starters got additional rest in San Antonio, as Kenardo Forbes, Russell Cicerone and Dixon all entered the game at halftime, while Mekeil Williams entered later and Danny Vitiello and Dani Rovira got a full 90 minutes off. Expect most, if not all, of those players back in the starting 11 for the Hounds, who have at least six days between games for the rest of the season.

Loudoun (3-16-2), on the other hand, is coming off a 5-0 loss Wednesday night at home against Charlotte, a game in which the home team was reduced to 10 men after Landry Houssou was sent off. The DC United affiliate has a clean injury report, but Houssou will miss Saturday’s match, and there might be some heavy legs after playing more than 50 minutes with 10 men.

The Hounds did drop their first points to Loudoun earlier this season, falling 2-1 on the road June 30. Wins on the road June 2 and at home July 17 have run the Hounds’ all-time record against Loudoun to 7-1-0, and three points again will be the goal hosting the side at the bottom of the Atlantic Division. A deeper dive into the matchup can be found in our regular 3 Things feature.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the U.S., Saturday will be Heroes and First Responders Night at Highmark Stadium. Highlighting the day’s events will be an Oath of Enlistment ceremony for the newest class of U.S. Air Force airmen before the game, and a special retirement ceremony to honor Lt. Col. Christopher Griffiths after 30 years of service to the U.S. Army and Army National Guard.

Outside the stadium, the Air Force, National Guard and Pittsburgh EMS will have some of their vehicles on display for families and kids to enjoy, and the U.S. Coast Guard will present the colors for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Jordan joined the Pittsburgh Soccer Now team in 2020 as a contributor to Riverhounds SC & WPIAL coverage. He also just obtained a MBA at Point Park University while being the Graduate Assistant in the Athletics department. Jordan, during his undergrad four years at La Roche University, interned and worked part time for every pro team and several universities in Pittsburgh: Riverhounds SC, Pirates, University of Pittsburgh, La Roche University, Duquesne University, Steelers and the Penguins. With all of these experiences he began to gain a passion to work in sports as a career. Smith played cup soccer for Century United and Beadling during his youth years and also trained with the Riverhounds. He attended South Fayette High School where he helped his team win WPIAL's and a section title his senior year in 2015, while earning All-Section and All-WPIAL honors.

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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