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Match Preview: Pittsburgh Riverhounds

This week we have a mid-week game against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (not a real dog breed). The Riverhounds sport a big zero in the win column so far this season, having played 3 games with 2 losses and 1 tie to Toronto II. So let’s analyze the 2 teams.

Riverhounds keys to victory:

Having not won a game yet, I can’t really say what Pittsburgh does well. They certainly do not lack shooting ability, having shot 40 times in 3 games. Problem is they have hit the target only 11 times, and have only scored 3 times. The Hounds’ opponents have scored 5 goals on them so far this season.

The first key for Pitt, then, is limiting Louisville City’s use of their attack, making them make mistakes in the attacking third of the pitch while controlling the midfield game. The Hounds will need to close down space and limit LCFC in the attacking third, which will make Louisville take shots farther out than the 6 yard box. The second is to get Romeo Parkes open and for opportunities on the goal, as he’s scored twice in 4 shots on goal. He has only taken 9 shots on the season, so he is fairly selective and if he feels he has a chance you bet he will take it.

Note: Romeo is also the only player to score on his team this year for the Riverhounds.

A third key factor (that no one has picked up on yet in the USL) is to take the wings away from LCFC. Make the Kings work the ball up in the middle and make the field smaller. This allows less athletic and talented teams compete with the teams that are superior. The team that takes away the wings from Louisville will be a team that can beat them.

Louisville City keys to victory:

Why stop what we’re doing now? Get the ball to the wings, attack the outside midfielders and defenders, and get crosses for people to put on target. Get Chandler Hoffman opportunities on goal. Use the team’s athleticism and overall talent to attack.

Play some dang defense! I love winning as much as the next guy but defense wins championships and so far, the LCFC defense hasn’t impressed me much. In the last 4 games they haven’t finished a half without conceding minus the first game of the season at Charlotte. With a great defense, Louisville City would truly be a force to be reckoned with.

Prediction:

LCFC 3, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

I do not think we will lose many at home this year. I expect Louisville to dominate the game and get a quality win. I think the Riverhounds have the ability to give LCFC a game, but so far they have lost 2 at home and tied away. And with the Coopers as rowdy as they are in the stands, they are beginning to make teams dread coming to Slugger Field because it is hard to beat LCFC at home!