Fresh off two clean sheets in its first two games to start the season, Riverhounds SC (0-0-2) will host Toronto FC II (0-2-0) at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. In series history, Pittsburgh holds a 5-0-2 record against Toronto.
Despite the all-time series being heavily weighted in Pittsburgh’s favor, each of the last four meetings has been decided by one goal or less (the Black and Gold are 2-0-2 in these matches). Riverhounds SC will look to hold onto its undefeated mark against the Canadian foe in what could be yet another close game.
Next Man Up
With forward Romeo Parkes, who leads the team with six shots, and defender Joe Greenspan, who paces the squad with 29 clearances, being ruled out for Saturday’s match, the Hounds will need other players to step into their roles this weekend. Look for Christiano François, Kevin Kerr and Neco Brett to help fill in for Parkes offensively whereas second-year center back Tobi Adewole figures to see greater responsibility on the defensive end against Toronto.
Centre of Attention
Through two matches, Thomas Vancaeyezeele leads Pittsburgh with a 71.1 passing accuracy in the opposing half (minimum 25 total passes). In addition to keeping possession, he also leads the squad with seven interceptions in 2018. The rookie has held down a holding position in the team’s midfield and will look to continue to distribute balls up to the frontline this weekend.
Dan Lynd has posted two shutouts in the Hounds’ first two games to open the season. With his clean sheets, Lynd becomes the first Pittsburgh goalkeeper in the current era of the USL (since 2011) to have recorded two shutouts to start the campaign.
Despite outshooting its opponents in both of its games and 25-14 overall, Riverhounds SC has come away with two draws to open the season. For the team, it has placed 24 percent of its shots on target to this point. This Saturday, the Hounds will need to see a greater percentage of their takes find their way on net to help complement an already stifling defense.