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What2Watch4: Saint Louis - 4/12

By Anthony Picardi, 04/11/17, 10:30AM EDT


The Riverhounds return to Highmark Stadium after recording their first win of the season in dramatic fashion on the road at Charleston this past Saturday, as Corey Hertzog placed a diving header into the net in extra time to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 win. Off a short week, the Hounds (1-1-1) now turn their focus to Saint Louis FC (2-0-1) for a match at 7 p.m. this Wednesday.

The Rundown

Depth at the midfield

In the 13th minute against Charleston this past weekend, midfielder Ben Swanson sustained an ankle injury that forced him out of the game. Abuchi Obinwa subbed in for Swanson, making his first career Hounds appearance and logging 77 minutes in the process. As Swanson may miss extended time, Obinwa could be a key piece in the midfield moving forward.

Counterattack emerging

Head coach Dave Brandt’s counterattack scheme is starting to hit its stride. This offensive approach culminated on Hertzog’s game-winning tally against Charleston on April 8. Pittsburgh will continue to rely on counterattack opportunities, such as this one, in its match against Saint Louis FC.

Angulo returns to Highmark

Saint Louis FC forward José Angulo returns to Pittsburgh on Wednesday after spending the 2013-14 seasons with the club. Angulo scored the first-ever goal at Highmark Stadium – only a day removed (April 13, 2013) from the date of tonight’s match – and is tied for fourth all-time in team history with 23 career goals in 47 appearances. 

By the numbers: 5

Pittsburgh has five players who have played every minute thus far of the 2017 campaign. Jamal Jack, Rich Balchan, Victor Souto, Kevin Kerr and Hertzog have each started all three matches and recorded 270 minutes. Look for these five to lead the Hounds on the field this Wednesday.

Keys to victory: 90 minutes of pressure

After recording only three shots at halftime, the Hounds fired up their offensive attack and launched 10 shots in the second half against Charleston. For Pittsburgh to keep pace on Wednesday, it will need to place consistent pressure on the Saint Louis defense, which has tallied one clean sheet in three games this year.