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Hounds defeat Indy Eleven, 2-0, to remain unbeaten in preseason

Hounds stay unbeaten in preseason

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC forward Russell Cicerone (L), makes a move past Indy Eleven goalkeeper Tim Trilk before scoring the first goal in a USL Championship preseason match on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Russell Cicerone and Dane Kelly scored first half goals to lead the Riverhounds SC to a 2-0 victory vs USL Championship Eastern Conference foe Indy Eleven at Highmark Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

With the win, the Hounds improve to a 3-0 preseason record, posting their second consecutive shutout.

Cicerone and Kelly scored goals nine minutes apart in the first half to provide all the offense the Hounds (3-0-0) needed to stay unbeaten midway through their preseason schedule.

The scoring nearly took off 60 seconds into the match, as Jelani Peters got on the end of the game’s first corner kick but his header struck the top of the crossbar. The Hounds, who started seven signed players and four still on invitational trial, carried the early play, but Indy was able to threaten in their moments on the ball and forced a pair of early saves.

Cicerone put the Hounds on the board in the 25th minute by breaking in behind the left side of the defense. The team’s leading scorer from a season ago showed his usual patience in the box, waiting for the trailing defender to run past and dribbling around the goalkeeper to roll his finish into the net for his second goal this preseason.

Kelly then doubled the lead with his second preseason goal in the 34th minute, as he got on the end of a long ball directly down the middle from Mekeil Williams and chipped the oncoming goalkeeper.

Indy nearly got on the board in the final minute of the first half. Their veteran midfielder, Nicky Law, got loose overlapping down the left side, but his curling shot from the top of the box hit the crossbar, and the rebound attempt was saved.

One of the Hounds’ trialists provided the highlight of the second half. After being whistled for a foul coming off his line, goalkeeper Chase Vosvick denied Indy’s Stéfano Pinho’s penalty shot, preserving the clean sheet.

The second half also saw the preseason debuts of Hounds midfielder Danny Griffin and defender Jesse Williams, as both players came on to finish the game in the 71st minute.

The Hounds play their final professional opponent of the preseason, Louisville City FC, at 2 p.m. this Saturday at Highmark Stadium. The game is open to the public and admission is free.


Scoring summary

PIT — Russell Cicerone 25’
PIT — Dane Kelly 34’

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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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