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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Riverhounds remain winless; play to second straight scoreless draw at Rhode Island

USL Championship

Final: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 0, Rhode Island FC 0

Match Center stats 

Early season struggle to score goals for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC continued in the battle against expansion Rhode Island FC that ended in a 0-0 decision at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I. on Saturday night.

It was the second straight scoreless affair for the Hounds (0-3-2, 2 points), and clean sheet posted by goalkeeper Eric Dick, who made four saves.  With this result, Rhode Island (0-1-4, 4 points) stayed two points ahead of the last place Hounds.

Once again, the snake bit Hounds were unable to convert despite a few dangerous chances in what was a pretty physical contest which saw plenty of whistles. There were 31 total fouls, with RIFC conceding 18 times.  In terms of chances, it was an evenly played match, Rhode Island held a slight 12-10 edge in shots, but the Hounds had four shots on frame, to the hosts’ three.

The Hounds’ best chance came in the 77th minute when a pair of shots on the same sequence that emanated from Babacar Diene cross, saw both Edward Kizza and EJ Johnson being denied by RIFC’s keeper Jackson Lee.

Former Hounds Albert Dikwa and Marc Ybarra started and played the entire match for the home side, as Dikwa didn’t break through to get behind the Hounds back line until the 80th minute, when he did have a pair of chances, one off target and another saved by Dick.

Through five matches, the Hounds have scored just one goal.  This is the club’s worst start to a season since 2013, when the Hounds started 0-4-1.

Look for more Hounds coverage from Pittsburgh Soccer Now including reaction to this match and look ahead to next week’s match at defending USL Championship Cup winners, Phoenix Rising FC.  

Match Updates

Stay here for updates on key match moments and more…


Through 5 matches, Pittsburgh has posted one goal. Attack continues to lack in quality and quantity of chances. Won’t get easier — next up – at Phoenix next week.

90+7 – YELLOW CARD – RI’s Smith tackles Johnson at midfield to deny a potential counter in space

90+4 – YELLOW CARD – EJ Johnson shoves RIFC player into net lining up for corner.

90+1′ – Ball not cleared and falls to Danny Griffin at the top of the box, but his left-footed effort is sliced well wide.

90+1′ – YELLOW CARD — Diene misses on a challenge, and he’s going to be the fourth Hounds player cautioned after Yao beat him to the ball.

90′ – six minutes of Stoppage Time added

87′ –  YELLOW CARD – Luke Biasi

86′ – SUB — PIT

  • IN: Sean Suber
  • OUT: Junior Etou

80′ – Subs bringing some much-needed energy for Hounds in getting forward.

Dikwa though never tires — and once again a pair of shots for RIFC. Two teams pushing for their first win. Should be a fun final 10 minutes. Dikwa got in behind the Hounds for the first time, but Dick is off his line to cut off the angle, and the ex-Pgh striker drags the ball well wide of goal.

77′ — Holy macaroni — Hounds’ snake bit! Two scoring chances in same sequence turned away by Rhode Island keeper Jackson Lee to keep the match scoreless. Looked like both Edward Kizza and EJ Johnson with shots on after cross in from Babacar Diene.

75′ — PIT – SUBS

  • OUT: Mertz, Blackstock, Forbes
  • IN:  Rovira, Sample, Babacar Diene,

68′ – YELLOW CARD – Langston Blackstock takes down RIFC attacker on edge of box.  Ensuing free kick from former Hound Marc Ybarra almost connects w/ Dikwa but redirect attempt sails wide.

65′ – RI — SUBS  

  • Turnbull, Doyle, Kwizera OUT 
  •  Smith, Saydee, Yao IN 

62′ – YELLOW CARD — Illal Osumanu concedes the foul, and he’s going to be the first Hounds player to be cautioned.

62′ – Etou plays the ball around the defense and gets blocked off it, but no call coming. That’s a couple of times that scene has played out.

59′ – Hounds force a turnover, and Johnson opts for the shot from about 20 yards. The defense is in position to block, and that takes all the pace off the ball before it gets to Lee, the GK.

46′ (8:46 pm)  — SUB — EJ Johnson in for Kazaiah Sterling for Hounds.

Through 4 1/2 matches — Hounds still stuck on one goal.


Pretty even match thus far — Hounds have been winning their share of battles in the middle of the field, drawing 9 fouls but only one shot on frame (being outshot 6-3, 2-1 on frame)

45+2′ – Ball pings off a couple of Hounds defenders and falls to Doyle, but Dick handles the shot off the half-chance well.

36′ – Lee has been quick off his line in the Rhode Island goal. He came out to play a ball with his feet before Kizza could get to it, and moments later, he’s out to collect before Sterling could receive a pass from Mertz.

33′ – Another ball played well by Dick, who parries a low cross cut back from the goal line away from his goal. Hounds scramble to get the ball away, and Kizza wins a foul to end the pressure.

24′ – Ybarra’s long-range effort forces a diving save from the keeper.

21′ – First Shot on frame for Riverhounds! Blackstock tries his luck from the top of the box with his left. He’s on target but doesn’t doesn’t get enough on the shot, and Lee collects in the Rhode Island goal.

8′ – First shot of the match taken by Rhode Island, but Joe Brito’s curling attempt never threatens Eric Dick’s net. Both teams trying to figure one another out in their first-ever meeting.

Starting Lineups…

Ahead of this match, which will include the storyline of the first time former Riverhounds Albert Dikwa and Marc Ybarra will face their former team, check out PSN’s match preview along with John Krysinsky’s profile on Dikwa, who has started this season with his new club with three goals in the first four matches.

Former Riverhounds scoring leader Albert Dikwa remains in top form with new Rhode Island FC ‘family’

Additionally, here are some game notes to check out before kickoff.

Riverhounds SC vs Rhode Island FC Game Notes

  • The Riverhounds have not scored the opening goal in a match this year, which was a big part of last season’s success, as the Hounds were 17-0-2 when scoring first in league matches in 2023.
  • With the road trip to Smithfield, R.I., the Hounds will be playing in an unfamiliar venue for one of only two times this season, and those matches fall on consecutive weeks. After Beirne Stadium on Saturday, the Hounds will play next Saturday at the new Phoenix Rising Soccer Stadium, which opened last year.
  • It is the team’s first-ever game in the state of Rhode Island, making it the 34th U.S. state where the Hounds will have played a match, and it marks a return to the state for Danny Griffin, a New England native who played collegiately at nearby Providence College.
  • This will be the first time the Hounds have played a match in the state of Rhode Island, making the Ocean State the 34th state where the team has played. The team has played a match in every state East of the Mississippi River except for  Delaware, Maine, Mississippi and Vermont.
  • The Hounds are celebrating their 25th-anniversary season, making them the third-oldest pro club in USL behind only the Charleston Battery and Richmond Kickers, both founded in 1993.
  • 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.
  • Kenardo Forbes last Saturday against Tampa Bay became the Hounds’ all-time appearances leader with 196, surpassing former St. Lucian international David Flavius, who played for the Hounds from 1999 to 2006. The Jamaican midfielder is in his seventh season with the Hounds and has been an All-League First or Second Team selection all six years in Pittsburgh.
  • Goalkeeper Eric Dick recorded his first clean sheet as a member of the Hounds last Saturday. He made two saves in
    the 0-0 draw with Tampa Bay, one of which was a diving stop of a free kick by Lewis Hilton in the 83rd minute.
  • Robbie Mertz played his 10,000th minute in the USL Championship last weekend against Tampa Bay. He has logged 10,004 minutes in his career across two stints in Pittsburgh and a season and a half with Atlanta United 2.
  • 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.
  • Midfielder Aidan O’Toole, a first-year pro out of the University of Denver, made his professional debut Saturday against
    Tampa Bay when he entered the match as a substitute in the 84th minute.
  • In 207 matches played under Lilley in all competitions, the Hounds are 106-45-56 and have allowed just 193 goals, an average of 0.93 goals per game.


Match Details

Riverhounds (0-3-1) at Rhode Island FC (0-1-3)
Date: Saturday, April 13
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Beirne Stadium, Smithfield, R.I.
Odds: Hounds +185 / Draw +220 / Rhode Island +135 (FanDuel)
Streaming: ESPN+
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #RIvPIT 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

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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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