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What2Watch4: Louisville - 5/20

By Anthony Picardi, 05/18/17, 10:45AM EDT


The Riverhounds (4-3-2) return home after a tough loss on the road to Chicago FC United in U.S. Open Cup play earlier this week. Pittsburgh though remains hot in USL competition, heading into this weekend’s match against Louisville City FC (3-1-3) with its three-match shutout streak on the line. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. this Saturday at Highmark Stadium.

The Rundown

Headers from Hertzog

Corey Hertzog leads the Hounds with five goals this season, and the past three have been from headers – all of which were game-winning tallies. The forward leads Pittsburgh with 26 shots and 12 shots on goal this season and figures to be in the middle of more scoring opportunities this Saturday.

Romeo returns

Romeo Parkes made his first cap against Ottawa Fury FC last Saturday, recording 28 minutes, and played a full 90 against Chicago FC United in the Hounds’ U.S. Open Cup draw. Scoring five goals with the Hounds in 2016, the forward launched another shot on net in his 2017 debut and followed that up with an assist against Chicago. Parkes signed with the club on May 5 and will be another scoring threat alongside Kevin Kerr, Kay Banjo and Hertzog moving forward.

Top four showdown

Currently, Pittsburgh sits in third place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points whereas Louisville City FC is fourth with 12 points. Both teams also share a similar goal differential this season, as the Hounds are plus-1 and Louisville is plus-2. As the first third of the season wraps up, Saturday’s match could carry playoff-seeding implications as the year progresses.

By the numbers: 3

Goalkeeper Trey Mitchell is tied for the USL lead with three clean sheets this year. All three shutout efforts have come in the Hounds past three league games, blanking the Harrisburg City Islanders, Toronto FC II and Ottawa Fury FC.

Key to victory: Contain George Davis IV

George Davis IV leads Louisville City FC with three goals and seven points this season. Davis IV also was a factor in the teams’ last meeting on August 5, scoring twice in the match. The Hounds defense must take into account this Louisville scoring threat on Saturday.