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Riverhounds SC Gameday Notes and Injury Report: Hounds look to bounce back in home opener vs Orange County SC

File photo courtesy Ed Thompson

The Riverhounds SC are back home!

On Saturday, they’ll face one of last season’s top teams out of the USL Championship’s Western Conference: Orange County SC, who will provide the opposition Saturday night.

We will have all hands on deck with our match coverage with Matthew Baldwin and Colton Coreschi reporting and Ed Thompson’s photography.

PSN’s Colton Coreschi took an in-depth look at the OC SC — as they are coming off a season opening 2-2 draw vs Sacramento Republic last week.

Know Your Opponent: Orange County SC

Matthew Baldwin was at team’s training on Thursday, as he caught up with Hounds Head Coach Bob Lilley and one of the newest signees, West Allegheny and Duquesne University grad, Nate Dragisich.

“It’s too early to define this group, this group is evolving. I think it’s going to take some games here to kind of work on things. We were caught out last weekend with a bad performance,” Lilley said.

“But I think we have the ability to bounce back, and we’ve been pretty good at that during my time here, so hopefully we get a response and play better and will have a better understanding of where we are after Saturday.”

All reports indicate that Saturday will have one of the biggest crowds ever for a Hounds home opener.

The Hounds’ will be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat against New Mexico United in the season opening match on the road.

Now back home, the conditions should be more to the Hounds’ — and fans’ — liking with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50s in the forecast.


Only one player listed on the Hounds’ injury list this week, as defender Michael DeShields, who pulled up with a hamstring issue late in the first half of last Saturday’s loss, is questionable.


Here are more game notes for what promises to be an exciting home opener at Highmark Stadium.

  • The home opener kicks off the 12th season at Highmark Stadium, where the Hounds went 13-1-3 in the 2023 regular season
  • The Riverhounds are playing the first home match their 25th season of competition today. They Hounds are the  third oldest pro club in USL behind only the Charleston Battery and Richmond Kickers, both founded in 1993.
    • This is the 12th home opener at Highmark Stadium, the Hounds’ home since 2013. The team is 3-5-3 in Highmark
    openers, including a 2-2-2 mark in six home openers under coach Bob Lilley.
    • The Hounds had the best home record in the USL Championship during the 2023 regular season, 13-1-3.
    • The Riverhounds won the USL Championship Players’ Shield in 2023 with a league-leading 19-5-10 record, and head coach Bob Lilley was named Coach of the Year for the second time in the USL Championship and sixth time as a pro head coach.
    • The team has reached the playoffs in six consecutive seasons under Lilley, which is the second-longest such streak in the Championship (trailing only Louisville) and the longest among Pittsburgh’s four professional sports teams.
    • The Hounds have not had much success historically against Orange County with just one win in eight matches. That win came 10 years ago, as Mike Green scored the only goal in a 1-0 win on Aug. 8, 2014, at Highmark Stadium.
    • Robbie Mertz became the 17th player to record 100 appearances with the club last week at New Mexico, in
    addition to being only the fourth Pittsburgh-area native to hit that milestone.
    • Danny Griffin was named the Hounds’ new captain for the 2024 season. The fifth-year pro has not missed a league match — regular season or postseason — in his career between Pittsburgh and a brief stint with Huntsville in MLS Next Pro.
    • Hounds midfielder Kenardo Forbes is expected to be in the lineup once again, and by doing so he would pull into a tie with his one-time teammate, Kevin Kerr, for second on the team’s all-time appearances list with 194. That would leave him one game away from equaling the top spot, and he could tie David Flavius with 195 appearances as early as next Saturday in Louisville.  Forbes was a Second Team All-USL pick last year after becoming the first in league history to record back-toback 10-assist seasons. He has been named the All-USL First or Second Team seven times, including all six of his seasons in Pittsburgh.
    • Defender Dani Rovira is the second-most tenured Hounds player entering his sixth season with the team. The versatile Colombian has had five assists in each of the past two seasons, and his 13 career assists are the most by a defender in team history.
    • In 204 matches played under Lilley in all competitions, the Hounds are 106-43-55 and have allowed just 188 goals, an
    average of 0.92 goals per game
  • Visitors to the stadium will see new signage and banners, and prior to kickoff, the team will unveil the banner celebrating the Hounds winning the 2023 USL Championship Players’ Shield. Tied in with the ceremony, the first 1,000 fans in the gates will receive a mini Players’ Shield banner, and all fans in attendance will receive a set of light sticks.


Riverhounds vs. Orange County SC

Date: Saturday, March 16
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium
Tickets: Ticketmaster
Odds: Hounds +125 / Draw +230 / Orange County +190 (FanDuel)
Streaming: ESPN+
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #PITvOC and #HOUNDTAHN

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).

Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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