PITTSBURGH (April 5, 2022) — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC made a triumphant return to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 Second Round win over Maryland Bobcats FC tonight at Highmark Stadium.
Toby Sims scored on each side of halftime — his first two professional goals — and the Hounds limited the visitors to just two shots on goal as goalkeeper Jahmali Waite recorded the shutout in his first professional appearance.
The Bobcats, a professional team playing in the third-division National Independent Soccer Association, were playing their first-ever Open Cup match.
The Hounds advance to the Third Round, where they will face either an MLS team or another Second Round winner between April 18-21. Pairings for the next round will be drawn at noon Friday.
The Hounds showed off their depth with nine new starters from their win Saturday against Loudoun United FC. And while the Hounds did well to maintain possession for long stretches, chances were scarce in the first 15 minutes.
The pace began to pick up, as Marc Ybarra and William Eyang forced saves in quick succession from Bobcats goalkeeper Christian Caulker. Maryland’s offense relied mostly on the counter, and former Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Darwin Espinal was unable to hit the target on a pair of first-half shots from distance.
Sims got the scoring started in the 37th minute, when he finished with a shot into the bottom left corner of the net. Luis Argudo received the ball down the right wing from Jesse Williams — who was making his Hounds debut — and Argudo picked out Sims at the top of the box with a good, low pass.
Sims, an England native and Division II All-American last fall at Chowan (N.C.), got his second pro goal just 10 minutes after halftime.
Wyatt Borso became the youngest player to record an assist for the Hounds (18 years, 28 days) when he hit a cross-field diagonal ball to Sims, whose defender fell on the wet turf. That allowed Sims to cut into the box on his preferred right foot, and he placed a curling shot into the right side of the net.
The Hounds closed out the game while giving most of their regulars rest, as they only used two of their five substitutions in the match. Waite, a rookie out of UConn, made both of his saves in the second half.
Hounds Man of the Match
Toby Sims, playing higher up the field than his usual defensive role and switching for stints on both the left and right sides of midfield, cashed in on his opportunity with two precisely struck goals. He also logged his first full 90 minutes as a pro.
The Hounds return to USL Championship play with the first of two consecutive road matches when they visit FC Tulsa at 2 p.m. Saturday. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Riverhounds SC lineup (4-2-3-1) — Jahmali Waite; Nate Dossantos, Mekeil Williams, Arturo Ordóñez, Jesse Williams (Jelani Peters 76’); Angelo Kelly, Marc Ybarra; Luis Argudo, Wyatt Borso, Toby Sims; William Eyang (Russell Cicerone 76’)
Maryland Bobcats FC lineup (4-3-3) — Christian Caulker; Moses Makinde, Richard Forka, Davey Mason, Christian Schneider (Noah Wright 45’); Josselin Possian (Michael Akinkoye 76’), Manuel Gonzalez, Drew Wivell (Andy Alvarado 82’); Sam Solomon (Mohamed Sesay 45’), Darwin Espinal, Bernardo Majano (Elijah Amo 45’)
PIT — Toby Sims 37’ (Luis Argudo)
PIT — Toby Sims 55’ (Wyatt Borso)