Riverhounds fall to Independence, 3-1, on Fourth of July

Posted on Jul 6 2017 - 12:47am by Rachael McKriger
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Photo of Chevaughn Walsh courtesy of Rachael McKriger, McKriger Photography.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds hosted the Charlotte Independence on Tuesday for their annual Fourth of July match, at Highmark Stadium.

The Riverhounds didn’t get the result they wanted, falling to the Independence, 3-1, in front of a sold-out crowd.

There was issues of depth on the roster and controversial calls from the referee.

“We had a big gap obviously since the last game,” head coach Dave Brandt said, referring to the roster. “There were some lineup changes that were necessary. There were some that I chose. I wasn’t overly concerned about that. We had some choices in the lineup. There were several others we could have fielded. I like the group we put out.”

As for depth, the Riverhounds added goalkeeper Macklin Robinson this week due to Trey Mitchell’s injury and Keasel Broome being away on international duty with Barbados. Serving as Robinson’s backup was goalkeepers coach Hunter Gilstrap.

Gilstrap has been the goalkeepers coach for the entire 2017 season, and has also provided coaching services with the Riverhounds Academy. He retired from professional soccer last year.

The Riverhounds also moved players around. The team is still without the services of Ryan Adeleye, Shane Campbell, Ritchie Duffie and Rich Balchan, who are all battling, or recovering, from injury. The team also missed out on Lalas Abubakar, who made his debut with the Columbus Crew SC on Tuesday night.

Jamal Jack returned to the starting lineup, as he was paired at centerback with Gale Agbossoumonde. Shannon Gomez, a loanee from New York City FC, made his Riverhounds debut. Rounding out the four-man defense was rookie Tobi Adewole.

For Adewole, it was his professional debut. Taylor Washington, who was suspended against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on June 22, sat on the bench.

Meanwhile, Mike Green moved from defense to the midfield. Also joining him the midfield was Victor Souto, who returned from injury. They were joined by Marshall Hollingsworth and captain Kevin Kerr. Romeo Parkes and Corey Hertzog started up front.

However, it was Chevaughn Walsh, who entered the match in the 59′ minute for Hollingsworth, who found the back of Cody Mizell’s net. The goal occurred in the 90’+ minute, and was assisted by Hertzog.

However, it wasn’t enough for the Riverhounds, who were already down 3-0. The Independence had two goals scored by Jorge Herrera in the 62′ and 79′ minutes, while Enzo Martinez scored Charlotte’s first goal in the 40′ minute.

The first goal from Herrera came on a penalty kick, when Agbossoumonde was called for a foul in the box. Meanwhile, the Riverhounds could have had a penalty themselves, but a no-call on a Hertzog trip in the box was deemed controversial.

“I have to be careful with what I say,” Hertzog said after the match. “I mean, it’s 2-0, but I think it’s 2-1. I think it’s a PK. There’s opportunities and there’s also other factors we can’t control that didn’t help us.”

Meanwhile, Brandt gave his thoughts on Charlotte’s penalty kick.

“I have to look at the tape,” Brandt said. “I thought it was super harsh to give a penalty there. I thought it was harsher not to give one to us in the 72 minute, or something like that.”

In the yellow card count, the Riverhounds had two yellow cards shown to Agbossoumonde (61′) and Walsh (65′). The Independence only had one yellow card shown to Joel Johnson in the 71′ minute.

The Riverhounds will have a short week, as they travel down south to face Orlando City B at their new stadium on Saturday. The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

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