With the first half of the season completed, The Howler takes a look back at some of the best moments so far in 2018. Today, the midseason review begins with stops that defined the Hounds’ current second-place standing in the Eastern Conference.
Led by goalkeeper Dan Lynd, Pittsburgh has racked up an incredible 12 clean sheets in 17 games. Lynd has started 14 games and currently holds a sparkling 0.50 goals-against average.
Let’s get into the top saves of 2018… so far.
Dan Lynd // May 19 // at Tampa Bay Rowdies
Facing perhaps their toughest road test at that point against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Hounds battled back from an early deficit at the notoriously difficult-to-play-in Al Lang Stadium. Tied at two in the 89th minute, Lynd came up large with a fast-reaction save to tip the ball over the crossbar off a Junior Flemmings header from inside the six-yard box. The stop proved vital, as the result would hold and the Hounds left St. Petersburg with a point in hand.
Dan Lynd // May 26 // Penn FC
In their second meeting against their archrivals, the Hounds needed a save from Lynd in the 36th minute to eventually preserve the 0-0 result. Gathering a through-ball at the top of the 18-yard box, Penn FC’s Aaron Dennis elevated the ball to try to slip it over the Pittsburgh goalkeeper, who sprinted to the top of the penalty area to contest the scoring chance. As the ball head toward him, Lynd batted it out of the air before collecting the sphere in his grasp.
Dan Lynd // June 2 // at Richmond Kickers
Not winning a match at City Stadium since May 16, 2015, the Hounds hoped to improve their road record of 4-13-3 against the Richmond Kickers. With all three goals being scored in the second half, both goalkeepers showed their strength in keeping the score nil-nil until the final 45 minutes. Lynd’s best save came in the 28th minute when Richmond defender Mekeil Williams headed a dangerous ball directly on net. Fully extending himself to the right, Lynd just gained a touch to place the ball out of play. The save came up big, and it would factor into Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win at City Stadium – the team’s fifth road victory against the Kickers at the venue.
Dan Lynd // June 27 // Louisville City FC
Facing the daunting task of battling defending USL-champion Louisville City FC at Louisville Slugger Field, the Hounds clung to a 1-0 lead in second-half stoppage time. As time was running thin, Louisville released one last shot on target – a bullet off the foot of Brian Ownby from outside of the penalty area. With the ball ticketed for the upper part of the twine, Lynd took to the sky and swatted the ball over the crossbar to clinch his squad three points.
Dan Lynd // July 8 // at Ottawa Fury FC
Once again, Lynd provided the Hounds with needed late-game heroics in second-half stoppage time. With only two minutes to play, Ottawa’s attack pressured Lynd, pushing its whole team into the Hounds’ half. After confusion in the box, Fury FC striker Steevan Dos Santos placed a shot on frame, but it was blocked away by Lynd, who came out of the goalmouth to make a sliding clearance. His effort led the Hounds to their fifth straight clean sheet.