PITTSBURGH (July 17, 2016) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-11-4) fell for a third-straight match, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Harrisburg City Islanders (5-13-2) in round two of the Keystone Derby Cup Series presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery and K&L Gates.
Harrisburg’s two goals in the first half proved to be too much for the Hounds to overcome with Dante Leverock and Jose Barril notching tallies in the 29th and 33rd minute, respectively. Kevin Kerr buried the lone goal for the Hounds in the 60th minute, snapping a three-match goalless streak in the process.
Action opened up at a back-and-forth pace. Jack Thompson, slotted at left back, almost gave the Hounds an early lead with a rocket of a shot from over 25 yards out ringing off the crossbar in the 17th minute. The missed opportunity proved painful, as the City Islanders, earning a corner in 28th minute, got the first goal of the match thanks to Leverock heading a shot flush past goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas far post.
Five minutes later, Harrisburg’s lead grew to two off a crazy sequence starting with Vargas making a diving save and pushing the ball out in front of him. Finding his way to the loose ball, Barril was able to evade a sliding challenge by Thompson and fire between the legs and eventually off of defender Mike Green and into the goal.
The Hounds responded with a strong second half, eventually breaking through with a deft finish by Kerr in the 60th minute. The build up opened with Lebo Moloto finding second half sub Nick Thompson in front of the box. Thompson then headed a soft touch to Hertzog, who pushed a header to Kerr in space, giving the captain a chance in all alone on goalkeeper Keasel Broome.
In the 78th minute, Harrisburg had an opportunity for the dagger off a penalty kick attempted by Bobby Warshaw. Hoping to fool Vargas with a few stutter steps, Warshaw pushed a shot low to Vargas’ left, seeing his shot saved by a stellar diving stop by the Hounds keeper. The Hounds would end the match pushing for an equalizer, including Drew Russell ringing a shot off the crossbar from distance, but the effort would not be enough.
Pittsburgh will look to right the ship next weekend, closing out its three-game homestand against the Charlotte Independence (7-6-4) on Saturday, July 23 at 7 p.m.
Riverhounds – Mauricio Vargas – Mike Green (Drew Russell 46′)- Sergio Campbell – Willie Hunt – Jack Thompson (Marshall Hollingsworth 63′) – Ryan Adeleye (Conor Branson 36′) – Danny Earls – Kevin Kerr – Lebo Moloto (Ben Swanson 76′) – Zak Boggs (Nick Thompson 55′) – Corey Hertzog
Subs not used: Hunter Gilstrap, Stephen Okai
City Islanders – Keasel Broome – Jamie Thomas – Liam Doyle – Dante Leverock – Shawn McLaws – Cardel Benbow – Bobby Warshaw – Mohammed Dabo – Matt Bolduc (Josh Hughes 73′) – Jose Barril (Shane Campbell 90′)- Garret Pettis (Brett Jankouskas 66′)
Subs not used: Nick Noble, Yousseff Norcini, Josh Hughes, Danny Diprima, Craig Foster
HAR- Dante Leverock 29′ (Jose Barril)
HAR- Jose Barril 33′
PGH- Kevin Kerr 60′ (Corey Hertzog)
PGH- Kevin Kerr (Caution)
PGH- Conor Branson (Caution)
HAR- Cardel Benbow (Caution)
Cleveland Brothers “Blue Collar Player of the Game” – Kevin Kerr
Post-Game Quote Sheet
His thoughts on the game…
Frustrated, Disappointed, Upset, all the above. We can start with that. We can get better. We just aren’t there yet.
On what went wrong in the first half…
I think what went wrong is right now this group’s reaction when something goes wrong is not conscious or meant. But it’s just a downing of spirits that produces a loss of concentration and belief. You’ll see us playing a lot of games for 15 minutes, but that’s not us. That’s going to be the downfall and the problem. Something happens and it produces a loss of focus.
On overcoming the team’s struggles…
The only thing this team can do right now to keep fighting. It’s a group of guys who want that, no one wants to stop fighting. But right now it’s human nature and we just have to keep fighting it. It’s a leadership issue, but the leadership is me, it’s Kevin, it’s Danny, its Mike, it’s the older guys, its everybody. Everybody has to step up.
On the team culture…
I think it’s a very un-USL culture, a very un-pro soccer culture, its where you’re not all buddy-buddy and friends. But it’s about absolute unity and humility. It’s not about you. You’re a part of something bigger than yourself. The team, the league, the club. It’s about passion. Sometimes pros struggle with that. I’m asking for these guys to not be too cynical, form a strong brotherhood.
On the goal he scored…
I was just hanging out on the edge of the area hoping for a goal and obviously it eventually came to me and I just kicked it as hard as I could and luckily it went in.
On seeing any progress…
Obviously it’s tough. The biggest thing is just all around confidence. You can’t change confidence. All you can do is keep going. The team out there has a lack of confidence and a lack of trust and a lack of a lot of things.
On the fans…
It’s unbelievable, and it sounds stupid, but it almost makes it harder. With fans like that you just want to give them something for what they do. You have to give back. And this is the worst night for that.