(April 16, 2022) — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC suffered its first setback of the 2022 season, as league scoring leader Danny Trejo’s first-half goal was the only tally in a 1-0 loss at Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.
The Hounds (4-1-1) failed to capitalize on their chances in the first-ever meeting with the Lights (4-3-0), despite holding a 10-5 advantage in shots and a slight edge with 51 percent of possession.
“We just didn’t put enough urgency or energy into the game. Obviously the goal was a mistake, but we weren’t creating chances and there wasn’t enough impetus going forward,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said.
Neither team was particularly sharp with their passing — both completing less than 76 percent — as winds gusting over 25 miles per hour seemed to affect both teams’ play and contributed to some sloppy play.
The Hounds came out strong in the opening minutes, but they were unable to produce a shot in the early stages and finished the first half without a shot on goal.
Trejo, the top scorer in the USL Championship with six goals in seven games, put his team ahead in the 27th minute after a Hounds’ turnover in their defensive half. Alvaro Quezada pounced on a pass out of the defense and quickly played the ball forward to Trejo. One-on-one, Trejo was able to switch the ball over to his right foot despite a touch on the ball by Arturo Ordóñez, and he placed a shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
The Hounds went to their bench early in the match, introducing Alex Dixon and Nate Dossantos after just 36 minutes, but the team never found the target before the break.
The Hounds slowly gained control in the match and pressed for a tying goal; the team finished by taking the final six shots of the match and holding Las Vegas without a shot for the final 30 minutes of the match.
Dixon was influential as a creator down the right wing, and in the 64th minute, he found Dane Kelly in front of goal, only to see Kelly’s shot denied with a reaction save by Tomás Romero — the first of four for the Lights’ goalkeeper.
The Hounds also had two near misses from corner kicks served in by substitute Luis Argudo. Kelly missed just high with a contested header in the 80th minute, and both Mekeil Williams and Ordónez were up for a header in the first minute of stoppage time that hit multiple players before rolling harmlessly wide.
Hounds Man of the Match
Alex Dixon did what is expected of an attacking substitute, entering the match and making the Hounds much more threatening going forward. He provided a pair of crosses and was second to Kelly — a 90-minute player — in touches in the opponent’s box as he drove at the Lights’ defense on the right wing.
The Hounds have to hop back on a cross-country flight Sunday and head straight out to Cincinnati, where they will face MLS club FC Cincinnati in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in TQL Stadium. The Hounds are 1-5 all-time vs. MLS teams, but every loss has been either by one goal or in extra time.
Riverhounds SC lineup (5-1-3-1) — Kevin Silva; Robby Dambrot (Alex Dixon 36’), Shane Wiedt (Dani Rovira 82’), Arturo Ordóñez, Mekeil Williams, Jesse Williams (Luis Argudo 62’); Marc Ybarra (Nate Dossantos 36’); Kenardo Forbes, Russell Cicerone (Albert Dikwa 62’), Danny Griffin; Dane Kelly
Las Vegas Lights FC lineup (4-4-2) — Tomás Romero; Mohamed Traore (Jorge Almaguer 71’), Dekel Keinan, Tony Leone, Morten Bjørshol; Daniel Crisostomo, Alex Lara (Frank Daroma 71’), Roberto Molina, Alvaro Quezada; Danny Trejo (Daron Iskenderian 90+2’), Cal Jennings (Christian Torres 81’)
LV — Danny Trejo 27’
LV — Dekel Keinan 21’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
LV — Alex Lara 41’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Arturo Ordóñez (caution – unsporting behavior)
LV — Christian Torres 83’ (caution – delaying restart of play)