The Pittsburgh Riverhounds continued to unleash their blue-collar, no-nonsense defense on USL PRO opponents, as they came home with two points on two draws from their West Coast trip over the weekend.
On Friday, the Hounds got a late goal from defenseman Andrew Marshall as they attained a 1-1 draw with the Phoenix FC Wolves at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Phoenix had captured the lead in the first half as defenseman Danny Toia found the top-left corner of the net with an amazing 25-yard strike.
But the Hounds were not ready to call it a day. With 11 minutes gone in the second half, forward Jose Angulo ran a slant pass down the left side, and drove a low cross to the near post that Marshall met to put the ball past Wolves goalkeeper Andrew Weber. It was Marshall’s first goal of the season.
Then, Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Blues battled to a 0-0 standoff on Sunday at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium. Hounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap recorded four saves on the scoresheet for his second shutout of the season. Pittsburgh’s best opportunity came at the 21st minute of the first half, when midfielder Robert Vincent tried a long-distance strike that was punched away by Blues goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski.
The Hounds (0-4-3) are not the only team still searching for their first win in 2013. The Rochester Rhinos are 0-5-1, while the Antigua Barracuda FC are 0-5-0. Hopefully, feeding off the Steel Army at Highmark Stadium over the next homestand will help Pittsburgh generate the necessary offense to put more points on the scoreboard.
NEXT UP: The Riverhounds begin a seven-game homestand at Highmark Stadium with a rematch against the Phoenix FC Wolves (2-3-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m. In fact, Pittsburgh will play 11 of its next 12 games at home. You can stay on top of the latest Hounds news by visiting their web site.
RIVERHOUNDS REINFORCEMENTS: Pittsburgh has been chosen to host an opening-round matchup of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tournament on Tuesday, May 14 at Highmark Stadium in Station Square. The Riverhounds will take on the Chicago-based Croatian side, RWB Adria at 7 p.m.
The U.S. Open Cup Tournament was established in 1914, and features 68 teams from the various levels of US soccer from amateur to MLS, marking the largest field in the modern era, 1995 to the present. This year marks the second-consecutive year in which all U.S. based Division One, Two, and Three teams will participate in the tournament including 16 from Major League Soccer, six from the North American Soccer League and 12 from USL PRO. All Division Two clubs and eight of the Division Three programs will enter the competition in the second round. Division One squads receive a bye to the third round.
Last week, the WPIAL and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced an agreement to stage all six of the 2013 soccer championships, both boys and girls, at Highmark Stadium. This year will see two title games take place on Friday, Nov. 1 and four games on Saturday, Nov. 2.
The officials at Highmark Stadium are also planning to stage an eight-week “High School Soccer Series” in the fall. Each week of the soccer season, Highmark will play host to one top boys and one top girls WPIAL soccer game.
It has also been reported that Central Catholic High School is close to cementing a deal to play its home football games at Highmark.