Losing its first game of the season last time out against Nashville SC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (4-1-6) will look to get back on track in a meeting with the Richmond Kickers (3-5-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at City Stadium. These two clubs have not yet met this season, although Richmond held the advantage in 2017 with a 1-0-1 record against the Hounds.
Receiving the starting nod for the past three matches, defender Hugh Roberts has held down the backline. He’s coming off back-to-back games where he led the club in interceptions (eight against Penn FC on May 26) and clearances (nine against Nashville SC on May 30). As the Hounds chase their eighth shutout, Roberts could once again be a vital part of the Pittsburgh defense this weekend.
All Together Now
With a start from midfielder Noah Franke and a sub-in from forward Dennis Chin last time out, every field player for the Hounds has made an appearance for the squad this year during league play with the exception of Ben Fitzpatrick, who has been injured since the start of the season. As the team completes a stretch of six games in 18 days against Richmond, it will likely vary its lineup once more this Saturday to rotate in fresh legs.
Nothing But Air
Despite tying a season-high 16 total shots last time out against Nashville SC, the Hounds could not hit the twine and only three of these takes were on target – the worst shots on goal percentage the team has had to date. With a quick three-day turnaround, Pittsburgh will look to improve its conversion rate against a Richmond team that allowed three goals on six shots to the Charlotte Independence in its most recent match.
All 12 of Pittsburgh’s goals have come from inside the penalty area this season. The team has yet to score from outside the 18-yard box, as well as off a set piece opportunity.
This season, the Hounds’ performance has dipped in the second half. Five of their six goals allowed have come after the break. In addition, the team has allowed 61 second-half shots compared to just 28 first-half takes on the season. As the Hounds travel to City Stadium this weekend, they will need to shore up their play in the second 45 minutes.