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Hounds seek additional scoring chances against Charleston

By Jake Santo, 05/04/19, 10:30AM EDT

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Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC is riding high after an improbable comeback tie last weekend against Nashville SC.

Late scoring from Pittsburgh propelled it to a 2-2 result and extended its point streak to six games. Although unable to secure a victory in its last two matches, Pittsburgh was able to take positives from the homestand.

Midfielder Anthony Velarde, a rookie, mentioned the greater familiarity between players as benefiting the team in its early season success.

“I think especially last game we showed courage,” Velarde said. “I think we’re starting to get the ball and trying to go forward now. I think there are times, they press us, and they know how we want to play. So, they try to press us and sometimes we get messed up inside the field, but eventually when we get in the grove, we showed that once we start going forward and start connecting passes up the 18 that we can create chances.”

Veteran midfielder Kenardo Forbes has been in similar positions throughout his career, attempting to carry over past successes to the next week.

“Just the intensity after the last 10 minutes,” Forbes said. “After the last game, we were down 2-0 and we came back in the last 10 minutes. We just need that intensity from the start. Making hard runs into the box and crosses as usual. That is something we need to work on.”

Forbes mentioned the two-goal rally against Nashville SC as being successful for the club’s moral and can be a potential turning point for the group.

“It is definitely the team coming together after that performance,” Forbes said. “Everyone tried to get forward so, we know as a team we have to do it from the first whistle and get more goals than them.”

Offensively, the Hounds struggled to create scoring chances against Nashville. During the match, the squad posted three shots, which is well below its season average of 10.57 shots per game. It was a point of emphasis this week in practice for the club.

“We are just working on the runs, in the final turn,” Forbes said. “This is our biggest aim for this week and for the remainder of the regular season. Just get our final run and the final turn right. And we should be good.”

Pittsburgh (2-1-4) will need to carry the momentum into its match against the Charleston Battery (4-1-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at MUSC Health Stadium. Charleston currently sits in fifth place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference standings, coming off a victory against Memphis 901 FC last week.

“I know they are atop of the table,” Velarde said. “They are a solid team. I think if we come out, we can always come out with a win against any team. I think that is what we are looking for. We can get better and better and hopefully there is no team that can stop us.”