This week, we take a look back at the best of the 2019 season. Today, we reflect on our best goals from this campaign.
Kenardo Forbes – July 4 vs. Bethlehem Steel FC
Outshooting crosstown rival Bethlehem Steel FC by a wide margin, Pittsburgh’s continual offensive pressure could not connect during most of the night. With no goals to show for its attack in the first half, Pittsburgh looked to a king to make the difference.
In the 57th minute of play, Kenardo Forbes set up for a free kick a couple of steps outside of the 18-yard box. Forbes took the kick and sniped a shot into the top-right corner of the net, beating the Bethlehem goalkeeper. The eventual game winner from Forbes gave Pittsburgh the 1-0 win and marked the fourth all-time win on the Fourth of July at Highmark Stadium. The goal was featured on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 list, coming in at the No. 10 spot.
Neco Brett – July 27 vs. Hartford Athletic
Starting its hot streak in the second half of the season, Pittsburgh defeated Hartford Athletic handily, 4-2. The team’s capping goal showed a great display of athleticism.
Collecting a beautiful pass in the 18-yard box from defender Ryan James, Neco Brett put the Athletic defense in the spin cycle before striking the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
Robbie Mertz – Aug. 3 vs. Memphis 901 FC
In one of the most unusual goals in Riverhounds history, Robbie Mertz converted on a strange sequence of events. Already leading 1-0 against Memphis 901 FC, forward Steeven Dos Santos streaked down the pitch during the second minute of stoppage time in the first half. Dos Santos pounded a shot off the crossbar ricocheting into the midfield. Hustling into the offensive third, Mertz made the most of his opportunity.
Mertz fired a shot toward the goalmouth, eventually bouncing off a Memphis defender in front and skipping over the Memphis goalkeeper’s head, giving the Hounds a 2-0 lead headed into halftime. Pittsburgh won the match 4-0.
Neco Brett – Sept. 28 vs. Indy Eleven
Early on in a 0-0 game against high-flying Indy Eleven, Neco Brett readied to take a free kick from about 25 yards out. Upon his strike, the ball whizzed past the Eleven wall and into the top-right corner of the net by the outstretched hand of the diving Indy goalkeeper.
The Hounds continued to roll, winning 3-0 at Highmark Stadium.
Mark Forrest – Oct. 20 vs. Birmingham Legion FC
On the final day of the USL Championship regular season, the Riverhounds needed a victory against Birmingham Legion FC to claim the USL Championship Eastern Conference regular season title and a No. 1 seed headed into the playoffs. It all but seemed like a dream, until a rookie off the bench made it a reality.
The Riverhounds dominated the point of possession from the initial touch, collecting a season-high 24 shots in the match. The problem was that the ball would not go in the back of the net. Numerous chances scurried away in unbelievable fashion as Pittsburgh could not connect. As the game wore on, it became increasingly likely Nashville SC would earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Mark Forrest changed all that.
The rookie, Forrest, had not scored a goal in his professional career and had only competed in less than 100 minutes for the Riverhounds all season. A long cross from Joe Greenspan in front of the net set up a leaping Forrest to pound the ball past the keeper. The sequence gave Pittsburgh the 1-0 win and the franchise’s first USL Championship regular season conference title.