Hounds' Salsi Bolsters Defense

Posted by espo On 3:37 PM

Standing at 6'2" and weighing 185 lbs, Nathan Salsi is a big man on the pitch, an imposing figure. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds' starting center back and team captain is well on his way to being named All-USL Division 2 for the third time in four seasons.

During last week's road opener in Cleveland, the City Stars could not generate much offense due, in part, to Nathan's solid play at center back. The Stars were held to only five shots on goal despite being up a man for almost forty minutes in the second half. Salsi, along with defenders Jason Kutney, Eddie Hayden and Greg Janicki dominated the back 3rd of the pitch. Crosses wouldn't work and the Stars couldn't penetrate the penalty area. They resorted to crashing into and interfering with Hounds' keeper Andy Keszler to tie the game on a play that should have resulted in a foul on Star's forward Randolph Jerome.

The rest of the game featured Cleveland playing sloppy, skill-less long-ball. The Riverhounds did a remarkable job protecting their end and kept the Stars from scoring through full-time. After ninety minutes, the scoreboard displayed one goal a piece for the Hounds and Stars. A road tie, down a man in their first league game since 2006, was an acceptable outcome.

However, the referee signaled five minutes extra time, which is considerable. The Stars were able to net the winner before the final whistle despite the Riverhounds hard-nosed defending.

Nathan was awarded a place on this week's USL-2 Team of the Week for his efforts.

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