PITTSBURGH — After a one hour long rain delay, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2-1-3) tied Saint Louis FC (4-1-2) with the score of 0-0.
“It does,” said goalie Ben Lundgaard on if the delay had an effect. “It does for everybody, not just me. Especially since we came out here and had to go in. It’s a little different if we never came out here. The boys did well tonight to cope with it. [Saint Louis] has to do the same thing we do. It’s kind of even on both sides.”
The game started out with strong defensive play from both sides as neither team were able to capitalize on their chances. This was partly due to the weather being coupled with the strong defense.
“I don’t think any,” said head coach Bob Lilley on if the weather had an effect. “It’s a nice surface. The ball is a little bit faster and skips. We told them there might be some funny rebounds and skips. There might be a few more rebounds, be alert for balls spinning off. It didn’t really change our tactics.”
Despite this, the Hounds managed to have a pair of strong chances at the end of the first half. Steevan Dos Santos fired a shot that was saved by Jake Fenlason at the 36th minute. About three minutes later, Neco Brett fired a rebound shot, but an incredible diving save from Fenlason kept the score at 0-0. Shortly after that, Dos Santos ran into Fenlason. Dos Santos received a yellow card for the incident, which was the second for the Riverhounds of the evening as Joe Greenspan received one earlier in the night.
Those two were joined by Jordan Dover who was issued a yellow card in the 58th-minute of the game. Two minutes after that, St. Louis FC had a chance after a Kadeem Dacres shot went wide of the net. That was the story of the game as the few chances that the two teams mustered failed to deliver any results on the score sheet.
“We competed well, don’t know that we played well,” said Lilley. “I think we had a little bit more of the ball, but I don’t think both teams limited opportunities. I think we need to pass the ball better. There were more turnovers than we would’ve liked, we didn’t do a good enough job of holding the ball up top.”
The Hounds started to sub in players at the 66th minute. They brought in Anthony Velarde for Mouhamed Dabo before bringing in Chrisitan Volesky for Kevin Kerr at the 70th-minute. St. Louis FC followed this by brining in Albert Dikwa for Kadeem Dacres. The Riverhounds used their last sub to bring in Noah Franke for Brett at the 86th minute.
None of these subsitutions mattered though as the game remained scoreless when the referees signaled the end of the game.
“We are doing good position wise, keeping the ball, but when we get to the final third just, like run up. We just need to need to clean that up for next week against Nashville,” said Forbes.
The tie moves the Riverhounds out of the top ten in the Eastern Conference as they drop to 11th place with nine points. The Riverhounds next game will be home against Nashville SC (3-2-1) on April 27. Next Saturday’s game is potentially their last home game for almost a month as they aren’t currently scheduled to return to Higmark Stadium until May 25 against Charlotte Independence (1-5-1). Of course, they could play at home earlier as the second round of the USOC will pit the winner of the Erie Commodores and Dayton Dutch Lions. If the Dutch Lions win, they the Riverhounds will host Dayton on either May 14 or May 15. If the Commodores win, they the Hounds will travel to Erie for the second year in a row.