Saturday night we return to Highmark Stadium to take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. They will likely have been in attendance for our US Open Cup match which also was played in Highmark on Wednesday. Let’s dive into the keys to the game!
Riverdoges [yes it’s a typo but I’m leaving it in – Ed.]:
The Riverdogs currently sit third in the USL East, with 14 points and a 4-3-2 record through 9 games. Pittsburgh are coming off a 1-0 win over Ottawa Fury FC.
Pittsburgh’s first key is to grind out a result. The Hounds have managed to win 4 games with a goal difference of +1. It’s impressive given the results: 2 ties and 4 wins and only score 1 more goal over 9 games.
The next key to play better defensively. Pittsburgh has had 3 clean sheets so far this season, but a +1 goal difference is quite bad. They win almost 70% of their tackles and win 50% of their aerial duels, so they are no couch potato in the back.
The next key will be to move the ball, as they have been doing of late. They complete 70% of their passes and make over 400 passes a game (very similar numbers for LCFC). This Hounds team is going to be a tough one and is very similar over all to LCFC in terms of statistics and play.
The first thing is to show our prowess to them in the US Open Cup against the Tartan Devils Oak Avalon. We need to show that we can dominate teams like we have been doing (minus Tampa). If we show the Riverdogs we are boss, we get that much closer to the top of the table. We have 2 games in hand over the other teams above us that with a potential 6 points we could close up and move to 2nd from fourth (If results go our way of course).
The second key is finding that player that can score consistently. So far we’ve had a mix of players score, which is great! Don’t think I am one of those “one guy makes the team” people, because I am not. All I am saying is so far no one on LCFC has shown consistency in front of goal (while Cuatro Davis has shown it, he hasn’t kept it through all 7 games he’s played). However, I love our team and its attacking prowess. The results will come. I’m just waiting for that killer up front.
The final key I see for LCFC is turning around quick. We had a game Wednesday and now have one in 3 days (2 if you’re a player). We need to be able to turn ourselves into a competitive team every game. It’s early in the season so this shouldn’t be a huge factor, but it is worth mentioning.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw
I see this as a game which will test the will of LCFC to win during a quick turnaround. Pittsburgh is pretty solid at home and solid in general so this game is always fun to watch and predict. Look for LCFC to try to bounce back from the Tampa loss and show the USL that we are not letting the Rowdies take our top spot in the USL (Which after 2 years of being the Maid of Honor I want a damn trophy or rather a t shirt and the club get the trophy haha). Anyway this game is always a good one so tune in to your local TV Broadcast or Radio and enjoy! COME ON YOU BOYS IN PURPLE!