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Hounds to take learned knowledge into match against Ottawa

By Jake Santo, 06/08/19, 10:15AM EDT

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Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC was seeing double this past week, competing in two consecutive matches against Indy Eleven within a four-day stretch. A coincidence in scheduling put these foes in two matches back to back with one a normal USL Championship match and another a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup showdown.

“It was a difficult game, both games,” forward Steevan Dos Santos said. “We won the cup, and they won the league game. We had our chances in the last game. We were up 1-0, and they came back. Now we just take the positive from that game and learn. We need to move on for the next one.”

The Hounds prevailed late in the first match, securing a 1-0 win in the U.S. Open Cup matchup in Pittsburgh. However, the second game in Indianapolis had Pittsburgh up 1-0 in the second half, but two late goals from Indy were too much for the Hounds to overcome.

“Tough test,” forward Neco Brett said. “We won one and we lost one. It was a tough test. It is good to get a taste of victory.”

In both contests against Indy Eleven, the Riverhounds scored first – something the Hounds will look to do moving forward.

“We just have to press as a team,” Brett said. “Just continue to try to get in and around the area to try to score goals. Just play as team.”

The Hounds will look to their fourth round U.S. Open Cup matchup against MLS team Columbus Crew SC on June 11 in Columbus, Ohio. In the meantime, the Hounds will first return to USL Championship action against Ottawa Fury FC this Saturday.

It will be a reunion of sorts for Pittsburgh’s Dos Santos, who is a former member of Ottawa for which he played for in 2017-18.

“They have changed some players, but we have to watch videos of them and how they are playing this year,” Dos Santo said this past Tuesday. “We are trying to learn how to bring them down. Now they are winning and they are confident. We just have to work in training.”

Fury FC is currently one of the hottest teams in USL Championship action, securing points in their past five matches and winning the last three of four in league play.

“When you are winning you have the confidence,” Dos Santos said. “It seems like everything goes your way. Even the last game, they missed two penalty kicks but still scored four goals. We have to try to get better and improve and win the game.”

While Ottawa may be streaking, Pittsburgh has never lost to Ottawa. In four all-time matchups against Ottawa Fury FC, the Hounds are 3-0-1 against the soccer club from the Canadian capital. The Hounds are looking to keep that unbeaten streak against Ottawa this weekend.

“We just have to focus,” Brett said. “At the end of the day, they are a new team. They are above us right now, so we have to take this game pretty serious. We have to work together as a team to get the job done.”

The Riverhounds (2-2-6) will take on Ottawa Fury FC (6-2-3) this Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. The game begins at 7 p.m.