The Pittsburgh Riverhounds might not have consistency in net with the rotation of Mauricio Vargas and Hunter Gilstrap, but there is one thing that stays constant: It always rains when the Riverhounds have a home game.
Against the Richmond Kickers on Thursday night, that didn’t change. And neither did the outcome; the Riverhounds (2-10-4) lost 2-0.
The first of three consecutive home games for the Riverhounds was delayed two hours due to a power outage in Station Square, PA (where Highmark Stadium is located), caused by heavy rain.
The rain started at halftime and lasted about 30 minutes. Shortly after the rain started to slow, the power went out all throughout Station Square. The Riverhounds and Kickers players had almost made it back out onto the pitch before they were forced to go back inside their locker rooms again.
The match resumed around 10:30 p.m. after around two hours of waiting. Pittsburgh head coach Dave Brandt said he had never experienced a delay like that.
“That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me, and that was pushing three hours,” Brandt said. “But it was the same for both teams. I think players at this level, and at this level of experience, handle it. You know, I think it was just one of those things.”
Before the rain, the Riverhounds had played a solid match, leading in possession, but the Kickers led in shots — six compared to the Riverhounds’ four. Vargas, who started this week in goal, had three saves, while the Kickers’ Travis Worra had two.
Late in the first half, the Riverhounds’ Willie Hunt pulled the Kickers’ Hugh Roberts down in the box, and the visiting team was given a penalty shot. Richmond midfielder Yudai Imura buried his stutter-step penalty, giving the Riverhounds a 0-1 deficit.
After the match, Brandt voiced his displeasure about the call.
“The play of the game was right before halftime when we gave Richmond a goal. I don’t know if I’m in trouble for saying that or not, but that was a silly penalty,” Brandt said. “That’s not what we need right now. But we just have to be better so that we are ahead 1-0 before something like that even happens. Obviously, we weren’t tonight, and we’re not there yet. So that is on us. But that was a silly call. It’s ridiculous.”
In the first half, the Riverhounds were given two yellow cards. Danny Earls earned his in the 16’ minute, and Sergio Campbell was given his in the 43’ minute for arguing with the referee over the penalty kick call. The Kickers had one yellow card, issued to Sunny Jane in the 26’ minute.
In the second half, the Riverhounds fell flat. Richmond’s Jane scored in the 67’ minute, putting the visiting team up two goals. That goal was the last of the evening.
The Riverhounds will play their second-consecutive home game at Highmark Stadium, against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Sunday, July 17. The match will begin at 7 p.m.
Image credit: Riverhounds.com