Kenardo Forbes did something no one saw coming.
Dribbling the ball laterally across the pitch just outside the penalty area, the attacking midfielder sent a no-look pass forward to fellow teammate Noah Franke.
Although ultimately leading to a shot that missed wide right of the net, Forbes’ instincts created a great scoring opportunity for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC last time out during its match against Nashville SC. For the game, one that ended in a 1-0 defeat, Forbes paced the club with three chances created.
As the team now faces a quick turnaround, the veteran will look to continue his success as a catalyst for the Riverhounds SC (4-1-6) attack when it battles the Richmond Kickers (3-5-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at City Stadium.
“The mindset’s to get in the right position, be able to play forward and read the guys’ runs,” Forbes said. “That’s the main key, read the guys’ runs. The guys know once I have my head up I can find them, and they make the run for me.”
Forbes said the first thing he looks for when leading the break is what the defense is giving him. If the first run is covered, then the Kingston, Jamaica native will immediately find the second run.
In the midst of his first season in Pittsburgh after playing three years for the Rochester Rhinos, Forbes has tallied two assists, both of which have come on the road. This Saturday, he will try to once again replicate this success away from home.
“They know me,” Forbes said. “They know I always like to play it forward and find those gaps. Kevin [Kerr] likes to go in those gaps. Neco [Brett] likes to go on the break. I just know their tendencies and find them.”
After going head to head for the past three campaigns as rivals, Forbes and Kerr have teamed up as a part of the Pittsburgh attack in 2018. Since the start of the 2015 season, the two have combined for 36 assists in USL play, including notching four of the team’s nine helpers this year.
“It’s a really good combination,” Forbes said. “He’s a really smart player and a good player, very tricky and knows how to find space. That’s the kind of player I like to play with because he makes me look good.”
Heading into its match against Richmond, Riverhounds SC has hit a cold spell offensively. The team has been shut out in its past two games, even despite tying a season high of 16 total shots last time out.
Perhaps part of the reason for the slowdown in offensive production could stem from the busy schedule the Hounds have played over the past few weeks. Including Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action, the match against the Kickers will be the team’s sixth game in the past 18 days.
“The coaches rested a couple guys last week and this week,” Forbes said. “We have the right rotations, getting fresh guys to go out and play on the road, so that’s a key for us. We have a deep squad, so that’s very good for us.”