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Dear Riverhounds.

Posted by Dyson On 1:38 PM 1 comments

Dear Riverhounds,

We love you.  There is no way around this.

We will continue showing up at matches at Chartiers Valley, yelling until we lose our voices.

Sure, there are only eight of us in attendance on average.  But I guarantee that we account for 80 percent of the noise in the stadium.  See, the thing is, no matter what your record is, no matter how many times you lose, we notice how hard you play.

We see that selfless deflection inside the penalty area to break up a scoring opportunity.  We see you kick it into extra gear on the flanks.  We notice when you get fired up on the bench, and we certainly notice when you voice your concerns about poor officiating. We get fired up ourselves when you set up a brilliant scoring opportunity, even if it doesn’t lead to a goal.

Because we know you are playing with your hearts on your sleeves.

We know you are getting paid peanuts compared to other professional athletes. We know it must be frustrating coming in, week-in and week-out, and not getting the results you are hoping for.  We know that it can be demotivating to play at a local high school stadium. We know that sometimes, it is hard to give 110% every night.

And yet, we love you.

For most of us, every match is another night to look forward to.  We get so jacked every time we are able to scream your last names at the top of our lungs during player announcements. We are ecstatic to support you every night. Even though we don’t know you all that well, we feel like we do. For some of you, we have had the distinct pleasure of watching you grow individually as players on the field.

Anything we can do to help you guys, we will do. If we can give you that extra emotional boost as you are carrying the ball through the midfield, that extra jolt when a corner kick is entering the penalty area, or that lift when you are struggling to come back in the final minutes of the match, we will continue to do what we do.

The darkest hour is just before the dawn. Next season, we all have a lot to look forward to – a new stadium and a fresh new start. We are so excited for everything to come. Just hang in there a little bit longer.

“Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

We love you, and where you go we’ll follow. Because we support the Hounds, and that’s the way we like it.

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The Riverhounds played a tough match against the Antigua Barracuda FC on Easter Sunday.

FIRST HALF


The Hounds resorted to the long ball a lot along the left side of the pitch at the beginning of the game.

2' Long throw from Seth with a good opportunity to score, but missed header.

3' Nunez with a great strike from above the penalty area, but the shot goes over the net.

6' Karanja Mack from Antingua flops outside the penalty area and curls up in the fetal position.  Rumor has it he was going into labor.


Throughout the beginning of the half, the Hounds were controlling possession and making very crisp passes.

At 11', Antigua wakes up and starts coming hard at the Hounds.

Nunez and Lundberg chasing a lot of long balls, but to no avail.

21' Peter Beyers comes knocking on the Hounds' door, but the Hounds' backline breaks up the play.

23' Probably one of the worst calls ever in a USL PRO match.  Rolko goes up to contest a header against Stefan Smith, Smith defies the laws of physics and is seemingly Force-pushed Star Wars style into the ground by Rolko.  The ref buys it, and Antigua is awarded a PK.



25' Even though Hunter dives the wrong way, Beyers still sucks and misses the PK wide left.

28' Niko prevents an Antigua scoring opportunity by sliding in front of Beyers.

30' Another bogus call by the refs, Hunter is called for holding the ball for over six seconds.  Generally, refs are supposed to give 1-2 grace seconds at the beginning of possession to allow the keeper to reorient himself and recover.  The whistle was blown after about 7-8 seconds of holding the ball.  Never seen that called so close before.

31'  Quinton Griffith tees off on an indirect kick and drills it past the right side of the wall.

1-0 Antigua.

39' Orlando Mitchum tears apart the Hounds' D and rips a shot, but Hunter is there to shut the door.

43' Mitchum smokes Calvano in the middle of the field and dishes a pass to Stefan Smith.  Smith catches Seth and a tired Calvano flat-flooted in the penalty area.  Hunter had no chance.

2-0 Antigua.

SECOND HALF

45' The Hounds were unable to maintain possession in the middle of the field in the first half, so Kutney and C'deBaca come in for Leon and Lundberg.

46' Shin takes a quick shot, but it is wide right.

54' Seth gets a caution for being better than the defender he smoked.

55' Matt Aldred crosses from the right sideline to set up an Antigua goal, but it is called back because of offside.

58' Nunez barrels into the Antigua penalty area and gets a quality scoring opportunity, but Molvin James comes up huge.

60' Hounds generate more opportunities and get two corners, but cannot capitalize.

61' Niko challenges Molvin James in mid-air, James immediately drops to the ground, writhing in pain.  Probably from menstrual cramps.


This definitely gave Antigua time to regroup from Hounds' pressure.

66' Hunter stymies Smith in front of the net.

69' Niko gets shaken up, and is replaced by Neil Shaffer.

Hounds begin buzzing in front of the Antigua net, getting a bunch of solid chances.

74' Beyers again has a solid chance in front of the Hounds' net, but finds the side of the net instead of the back of the net.

78' Mike Green in for Costanza.

81' Nunez skips past the Antigua backline and rips a shot which is deflected off of James.

Antigua gets a free kick at midfield, counterattacks, Beyers once again guts the Hounds' D and passes in front of the goal.  Smith is there to bury it.

3-0 Antigua.

88' Nunez sets up Green, Green puts it in.

3-1 Antigua.

NOTES:

  • The Hounds had absolutely no answer for the Antigua midfield in the first half.  Very lackadaisical play by the Hounds' midfielders.
  • Beyers and Smith from Antigua pretty much had their way with the Hounds' D all game.
  • Once the Hounds got some fresh legs in the second half, they began to control possession.  But too little, too late.
  • Horrible, biased officiating probably put the Hounds in a hole from which they had a hard time recovering.
  • No idea why Mike Green was not out at the beginning of the game.  He had a solid showing in the first game against Antigua and seemed to work well with Costanza and Nunez.

There is NO way that there were 1200 people in attendance at that game.

Watch the recording of the game on @UNATION:


COME ON YOU HOUNDS!


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Going into this game, it was clear it was going to be a defensive grudge-match between two teams that sacrifice prolific scoring for a strong back-line.

In the end, the Hounds edged Antigua Barracudas FC on Holy Thursday with solid goal-tending by Hunter (including a probably game-winning save on a penalty kick in the first half) and a header by Mike Seth, a third-year veteran defenseman for the Hounds and a local kid who graduated from Baldwin High School.



Considering the first half of the game on @UNATION was blacked-out, it would be extremely difficult to give a recap of the entire match.  A big thanks to Michael Harrold (@UTEAM_Michael) to getting the bug fixed on the live stream for the second half of the match.  Hopefully they and USL PRO have hammered out any glitches.

Instead of giving a full recap, here are some of the stats from the game:


Interesting notes:
  • Solid offensive effort by Michael Green coming in for Shin at halftime.  Exciting stuff moving forward.
  • Evans thrown out of the game.  Oh man.  That would have been something to see.
  • Huge shut-out by Hunter.  Without that save on the PK, momentum would have probably swung heavily back in Antigua's direction.
  • It's not reflected on the match report, but Agustino Nunez was everywhere last night.
Next game is on Easter Sunday, April 8th at 4:30 PM at Sir Vivian Cricket Stadium in Antigua.  Not sure if the game is going to be streamed live or not.

COME ON YOU HOUNDS!



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...just skip over that 100 square mile dump in the Caribbean called Antigua?



There was a reason the Beach Boys chose to omit Antigua from their 1988 classic "Kokomo."

It's because they had enough foresight to realize what kind of scum would be attempting to play soccer in Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.



By the way, who in their right mind names their male child "Vivian?"

Regardless, today is the first match in a Holy Thursday/Easter Sunday Double-Header in which the Hounds kick off not only their own season, but also the second season for USL PRO.  The only thing that could make this two-game footy standoff any more holy would be Benedict XXVI skydiving onto the field before kickoff.

Pittsburgh Player to Watch:  Hunter Gilstrap, GK.  If the Hounds plan to continue their defensively-minded play into the 2012 season, Hunter will be cornerstone.  The former 2010 USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year has been one of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds' most consistent players the past few seasons.

Antigua Player to Watch:  George Dublin, D.  The 34-year-old defender has played in 9 World Cup qualification games in his career and brings experience and stability to the Antigua back-line.  Look for Dublin to impose a calming influence on an otherwise youthful Antigua team.

The game will be broadcast LIVE on UNATION (http://uslnation.com) at 7:00 pm.

COME ON YOU HOUNDS!



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Posted by espo On 10:18 AM 0 comments
Riverhounds Announce Stadium Plans
Soccer-specific $7.5 million stadium opening this summer

USL News Release

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL PRO announced today they will join forces with Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System to play a key role in the construction of a $7.5 million stadium to serve as a home field for the franchise. The stadium will be constructed in Station Square, Pittsburgh’s preeminent mixed-use entertainment complex, with a completion date set for summer 2012.

“This announcement is an exciting development for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and was made possible through a great deal of hard work by David Wilke, Jason Kutney and the rest of the Riverhounds organization,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “Teams playing in soccer-specific stadiums remains a critical component of the USL PRO business model. With Pittsburgh joining the Charleston Battery and Rochester Rhinos in this area and other USL PRO clubs making significant progress on venue initiatives, we are well on our way to our goal of seeing all USL PRO teams playing in soccer-specific stadiums in the next 3-5 years.

“We will also continue to target expansion markets with soccer-specific stadium prospects.”The stadium will operate year-round and host games and tournaments in soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, and softball for youth, high school, college and pro teams, but will only have permanent field markings for soccer. It will also maintain the location as an outdoor venue for concerts and community events to replace an outdoor amphitheater that has operated on the site for years.

Management of the stadium expects the facility to be a unique addition to the thriving sports venues currently established in Pittsburgh.

“Pittsburgh has a rich history in soccer that is oftentimes overlooked due to the lack of quality soccer facilities in the area and also the established market for American football in this City,” said Jason Kutney, part owner and member of the Riverhounds team. “This stadium creates a foundation upon which we plan to build a professional soccer culture in America’s most passionate sports city, and the Riverhounds organization is 100 percent committed to this mission.”

The stadium will seat approximately 3,500 individuals on the south and east sides of the field. The north side of the field will remain open to the bike trail running parallel to the river as well as the City, which will create a breathtaking backdrop for the main event.

“In terms of a location, we have been fortunate enough to finalize a deal that provides our stadium spectators with the very best views of downtown Pittsburgh,” said Kutney. “Mixed with an intimate seating arrangement that keeps the fans within an arm’s reach of players, this view, and the amenities of Station Square, will provide a stadium experience that is second-to-none.”

On the west end of the field, a three-level building will operate as the main entrance to the stadium. Visitor amenities such as the ticket box office, a fan store, and bar/grille will occupy the first level of the building. Team locker rooms and a glass enclosed training room will also be located on this level, allowing for fans to interact with players before the games.

Sixteen (16) corporate suites will be located on the second level with seating for approximately 12 guests in each suite. A private concession area will be located on this level, providing an elaborate menu exclusive to guests of the suites. A stadium conference center will be located on the second floor, in the northwest corner of the building. The conference area will be glass enclosed with an outdoor terrace, opening the room up to both the stadium and City views. The third level of the main building is slated to be a rooftop patio open to all guests.

The stadium is a privately funded project by local investors. In addition to the generosity of Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System, who will receive naming rights of the stadium, companies such as Trib Total Media, a local news and media company, and #1 Cochran, an automobile dealer, have made tremendous contributions to the project and will each be one of the select few companies whose names will embellish the stadium through sponsorship promotions.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a member of the United Soccer Leagues since 1999, have played in a variety of venues since their inaugural season, including three high school athletic stadiums and a minor league baseball facility. The Riverhounds have been competing at Chartiers Valley High School Stadium since current ownership took control of the franchise in 2007. The Riverhounds plan to continue competing at Chartiers Valley until the stadium is open and operational.

The Riverhounds Academy, the Club’s highly successful youth training component, will utilize the stadium for a multitude of events, including training programs, friendly exhibitions, showcase combines, and tournaments. The Academy, with an enrollment of over 550 of the most talented youth soccer players in Western Pa, operates to advance the technical and tactical competence of local players so as to promote these individuals to their highest achievable levels in the game.

“Undoubtedly, we hope to mature many of our youth players to the professional level,” said Justin Evans, Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds First Team, “and that begins with creating the proper environment. Mixed with our indoor turf fields and state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility, this stadium completes the environment from a facilities standpoint. Youth players and Pro Players alike will enjoy top notch resources in Pittsburgh.”


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