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March to the Match: Pittsburgh Riverhounds


Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4-5-4, 16 points, 10th place Eastern Conference


A Louisville City home USL match! Yay!


Saturday, June 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m.


Louisville Slugger Field, 401 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202


It’s a home game, so unless your schedule more or less forced you to throw your little sister a wedding shower on this exact same date and time, you should be there. NO EXCUSES, EXCEPT FOR THAT ONE I JUST MENTIONED! But if you can’t make it to the game because your summer weekend calendar is JUST SO DAMN PACKED, you can still watch it on TV on WBNA-21, listen to it on your transistor radio on 840 WHAS, or stream it legally on the old YouTubes by following this link here.


Louisville City’s already got one victory notched over the Otters, a 0-1 away win nearly a month ago. Luke Spencer got on the end of a nice cross in the box and put it past Pittsburgh’s keeper early on in the match and that’s how things ended. At the time, the Burgh was on a pretty nice run of form and the three points buoyed City’s position in the table. Since then, Team Purple has more or less remained in third position, while the Hounds have dropped points in their three league matches since: a nil-nil draw away against Harrisburg (ouch), a 1-2 home loss to Orlando B, and a 1-1 away draw at Toronto II. That’s pretty bad. Strangely enough, the re-introduction of noted kickboxing enthusiast Romeo Parkes hasn’t resulted in wins for Pittsburgh.

Hounds fans will admit it: they don’t score a lot. They average a goal per game, and just over one per game conceded, too. Pittsburgh is no pushover, as we know. Corey Hertzog and Kevin Kerr are still good players, as are midfielders Victor Souto and Marshall Hollingsworth. This will, as usual, be a pretty physical game fought in the center of midfield. Whoever wins the midfield wins the game.


I don’t know what we’re gonna see from City in this game. Pittsburgh is a team that can be exploited on the wings, something we know Kyle Smith and Oscar are capable of doing. Oscar’s due an assist, too, but who starts at forward will have a lot to say about how we generate scoring chances. Is Luke Spencer fit? No clue. Do we try to play with two forwards so we can actually have numbers in the box on crosses? Maybe. Do we trot out the 3-4-3 again? WHO CAN SAY?

If I had to guess, though, this is gonna be a 4-2-3-1 with Cam Lancaster at the nine position. Add that to the fact that City has never actually beaten Pittsburgh at Slugger, and you’ve got a recipe for a pull-your-hair-out game.

But maybe I’m being overly pessimistic. I usually am. City performed incredibly well last week in New Jersey; there’s no reason to think they won’t turn in another sterling performance at Slugger on Saturday, other than the fact that it’s hard to do that at Slugger. BUT NOT THIS TIME! Let’s get it done.