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 focuses on the wins that propelled the Hounds to their current second-place standing in the Eastern Conference.
Now let’s take a look at the best victories…
2-1 // June 2 // Richmond Kickers
Competing in its sixth game in 18 days, Riverhounds SC looked to move up the standings by securing a win against the Richmond Kickers. After an early deficit, the Hounds came back fighting, scoring two goals in just seven minutes. Pittsburgh bested Richmond in almost every single category, including shots, possession, passes and duels.
3-0 // June 16 // New York Red Bulls II
In their win against New York Red Bulls II, the Hounds brought all efforts to notch three points to continue their shutout streak at home. Forward Neco Brett sparked the attack, tallying two of the three goals, while fellow Jamaican teammate Romeo Parkes added insurance in the second half. The defense did its part, shutting out New York’s attack and allowing only 11 total shots compared to the club’s season average of 17.23 shots per game heading into the match.
1-0 // June 27 // Louisville City FC
The Hounds faced a tough test, heading on the road to clash with defending USL-champion Louisville City FC for second-place in the Eastern Conference. With only seven goals allowed as a team coming into the game, it was quite evident goalkeeper Dan Lynd would not falter against a team that averaged 1.4 goals per outing. Chances were created through crafty passes from both sides, but it was Kenardo Forbes who recorded his first goal of the season in the 79th minute after a flurry of opportunities on goal. The Hounds put the icing on the cake with a stout defensive performance to close the door on Louisville City FC and moved into second place in the East.
2-0 // July 4 // North Carolina FC
The Fourth of July is known for its fireworks, but the Hounds were dodging lightning bolts en route to their fourth shutout in a row. Pittsburgh utilized relentless effort to stay focused through the raindrops and a two-hour lightning delay, picking up a vital three points against their conference opponent. A rocket of a shot via the right foot of Christiano François gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead to close out the half. The second half showed much of the same, and veteran Kevin Kerr added another goal in the 71st minute.
1-0 // July 8 // Ottawa Fury FC
The Hounds hoped to continue their unbeaten streak against Ottawa Fury FC, as they held an all-time record of 2-0-1 against the foe heading into the match. With little shots in the first half, Riverhounds SC made use of the few chances it had. In the 22nd minute, forward Christiano François struck a cross off a corner into the 18-yard box. After a save by Ottawa’s goalkeeper, François gained another chance and again served the ball into the penalty area. Defender Todd Pratzner, just getting a head on the ball, deflected it to Hugh Roberts. Being only a couple yards from net, Roberts placed a shot on frame for the only goal of the match. The win and clean sheet helped Riverhounds SC push its record to 9-1-7 and only a point out of first place with a game in hand on Cincinnati.