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What2Watch4: North Carolina - 7/4

By Anthony Picardi, 07/04/18, 10:00AM EDT


Defeating reigning USL-champion Louisville City FC last week, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (7-1-7) extended its unbeaten streak to four games. After a two game road trip, the Hounds now return home to face North Carolina FC (5-7-3) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium for a Fourth of July clash. This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two sides.

The Rundown

Holiday Tradition

The Hounds will host a match at Highmark Stadium for the sixth straight season on the Fourth of July. Holding a 2-2-1 record in these games, the team will look to break its one-game Independence Day losing streak this Wednesday. Prior to losing 3-1 to the Charlotte Independence in 2017, the Black and Gold posted three straight shutouts on July 4 from 2014-16 – perhaps a promising sign for a team in search of its 11th clean sheet this campaign.

Joe Knows

Defender Joe Greenspan has racked up 376 minutes this season, and the Hounds have yet to allow a goal in any of them. All four of Greenspan’s games started have ended with a Pittsburgh clean sheet. Dating back to last season when he made his club debut, the squad has allowed just 0.63 goals per game with him on the field. The United States Naval Academy product figures to play a large role in the team’s backline rotation moving forward.

Kenny Can

Midfielder Kenardo Forbes has helped catalyze the Hounds attack in 2018, but he switched roles and scored his first goal of the season last time out against Louisville City FC. Heading into the team’s match against North Carolina FC with one goal and three assists this season, Forbes will look to boost the offense again on Wednesday.

By the Numbers: 307

The Pittsburgh backline hasn’t allowed a goal in the club’s past 307 minutes of gameplay, including a stretch of three straight clean sheets.

Key to Victory: Take Back the Shots Battle

Last time out at Louisville City FC, the Hounds lost the shots battle for just the third time this season. In 2018, Pittsburgh is 1-0-2 when losing the shots battle. As the squad returns home to the friendly confines of Highmark Stadium, a venue at which it hasn’t been outshot this year, it must once again allow less takes then it records.