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Riverhounds SC Reaction: A tale of two halves, and the birth of a new, juicy rivalry?

Photo Courtesy Detroit City FC

It was a tale of two halves, as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC played Detroit City FC to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan.

The first half belonged to the Hounds, as they outshot DCFC, 7-1, with three shots on frame including Albert Dikwa’s 18th minute tally. Even more impressively, Pittsburgh’s midfield and back line were in complete control, picking off many passes and denying opportunities in the final third even despite being outpossessed.

Everything changed in the second half. Detroit City FC made some proper adjustments and came out on the front foot in the final 45 minutes, playing with more patience and purpose in its attack, putting a lot more pressure on goal. There were some close calls in the box, but eventually, DCFC’s pressure was enough to generate a penalty kick opportunity in the 72nd minute for Maxi Rodriguez to convert the match’s equalizer.

With this result, the Hounds now post a 2-0-1 record, while Detroit now holds a 1-1-1 record in their first season in USL Championship.

Was this match also the beginning of something more?

Did the Hounds’ supporter group, the Steel Army, making the trip to Hamtramck, ignite a new, budding rivalry between the two clubs?PSN’s Mark Goodman set the stage nicely with his takeaways on DCFC’s soccer culture in his match preview aptly titled Charmingly Obnoxious.

Detroit City have a passionate, in-your-face fan base. How can you not love a team that got their supporters to raise the money to renovate Keyworth Stadium, which allowed them to pay off their debt two years early with donations? What’s better than a team where the fans are so invested, they volunteer to paint the benches in their newly renovated stadium? How can you not respect a team that was drawing over 5,000 fans a game when they were in NPSL, a league of teams across the US that generally plays before a crowd of a hundred on your local high school football field? DCFC are a great story of lower league soccering success in America. Huzzah!!

There was plenty of interesting reaction and banter that followed on Saturday in the stands and also on social media.The seeds of a rivalry may have been planted on Saturday, and we have all the reaction from the day below.

Post Match Reaction on Pittsburgh Sports Live

For immediate reaction after the match, Pittsburgh Soccer Now contributor Matt Popchock joined me on Pittsburgh Sports Live to break down the match.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL7iJHiBLzE&t=592s

Post Match with Bob Lilley

In addition, thanks to the Riverhounds SC’s Matt Grubba for providing us with the video clip of Riverhounds SC’s Head Coach Bob Lilley’s post match takeways, which can also be found on Pittsburgh Sports Live.

 

As for the nuances of the match, look for more to come in my upcoming Takeaways and Player Grades piece, which will follow later Sunday or early Monday.

What They’re Saying

Here’s what they’re saying about the match from the other locker room, as reported in Detroit News.

“I think we just still (are) getting used to the physical side of the game,” DCFC manager Trevor James said. “We couldn’t really create anything (early on), we couldn’t get anything into the final third. We got some good ball in their half, but we didn’t really get any opportunities.”

“Apart from that (corner), I thought they did quite well,” James said. “I don’t think there was too many opportunities for Pittsburgh in the game.”

“It’s a learning lesson,” Maxi Rodriguez said.

“We’ve got to start games better and kind of break down teams, and kind of understand what the game needs earlier,” Rodriguez said. “Thankfully we came up the second half, kind of first step forward, and got a goal from it.

“…We can’t wait for the 45th minute to get going. I think if we can start from the whistle, I think we can beat teams or put ourselves in a better position to beat teams.”

“That’s a good side. I think we’re going to create a rivalry with them, so I’m just thankful we got a point, but unfortunately, we didn’t get a win.”

#DETvPIT on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Riverhounds SC’s first-ever trip to face a foe eminating from the Greater Detroit Metro Saturday also saw the convergence of the Hounds’ supporter group, Steel Army upon Hamtramck.

This also provided for plenty of interesting banter.Apparently the DCFC faithful were not exactly happy with the tweets coming from Steel Army on Saturday, but especially the one posted below.

 

 

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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