Louisville City extended their three-game winning streak to four in Pittsburgh last night in front of some fans who were kind of interested in seeing Meghan Klingenberg, America’s most adorable and decorated soccer ninja. As you might have guessed, the weather was hot in the Steel City, but the random shots of the crowd were not.
Both teams fought for control of the ball with neither finding it in the opening ten or so minutes of the game. Then, MAG RAM was fouled on a run with the ball toward goal just outside of the penalty area. The resulting free kick, also taken by MAG RAM, found its way around the Riverhounds defensive wall and into the goal for the GREAT DANE’s seventh tally of the season.
City started to gain some confidence and more of the ball after their opening goal, but a foul on the left side of the Louisville 18 yard box a few minutes later resulted in a patented Pittsburgh goal. Rob Vincent crossed the Hounds free kick to the head of Kevin Kerr, who easily nodded the ball past Scott Goodwin after beating Bryan Burke on a good run in the box.
The rest of the first half was a bit choppy as City struggled to get much control of the ball when they had it on the Highmark Stadium turf, in spite of having spent some practice time on a similar surface at Woerhle Field in Jeffersonville earlier in the week. Louisville did have a couple of dangerous chances to score before halftime on a cross from Burke and a corner kick, but neither came to bear.
City was well in control to start the second period, and Matt Fondy and his hair had some very good chances in the opening minutes to break the deadlock. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh coach Mark Steffens decided his original lineup was trash and started essentially throwing the kitchen sink at Les Bourbons in an effort to get them off their game. It didn’t work, though, because Bryan Burke, who tore up the Hounds left flank all night, played a great combination with Kadeem Dacres before getting open for a cross that landed on Matt Fondy’s right foot and found the back of the net for His Hairness’s eleventh goal of the season. Fondy did a good job making a diagonal run to the near post to get open for the goal, while Pittsburgh’s back line just kind of gave up on the play which was nice of them.
Louisville City dominated the ball the rest of the match. With the exception of a brief flurry of chances in the 81st minute that could have tied the game, including a sitter that Kevin Kerr somehow whiffed on, Pittsburgh never looked particularly dangerous after Fondy’s go-ahead goal.
Some other observations I made while watching the game:
- Willie Hunt or won’t he?
- What’s with the anthropomorphic dog?
- Pretty sure I heard the “Price is Right” fail-horn at some point in the first half before City scored. LOL!
- Highmark Stadium is nice. The view is nice. It’s also distracting. I felt like I was watching a Super Nintendo version of Street Fighter for long stretches of the game. Trains! Speedboats! Lil’ Mac on a training run! A paddle-wheel steamboat that was hauling ass down the river even though said paddle-wheel wasn’t turning at all! So much going on behind the field.
- Also, damn that stadium was quiet. I think I’m going to call it “The Morgue” until further notice.
The Pittsburgh announcers felt Fondy was Man of the Match in this game, and I’m not going to argue about that as hard as your next Pantene Pro-V spokesman worked. That said, Bryan Burke probably gave him a run for his money. Dude was seriously roasting the Riverhounds’ left flank all night and could not be stopped, and he got an assist. Another stellar game by Twerkin’ Burke.