A minutes-weary Loudoun goes for its 2nd straight over the Hounds.
The last time Loudoun United played the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, they were getting exasperated with slaying the dragon that was building up in disappointment. They held off the Hounds to win 2-1 with a couple of bangers that served to lift a couple of streaks (winless in their first 7 with Pitt, first home win in 18 months), and smiles were abundant that night. It’s been two and a half weeks, Loudoun has dropped two since then (with missed penalty kicks in both), and following the balancing of Loudoun being Loudoun as a team and as a support system to their parent club, they reunite and hope to get a second consecutive win over the Hounds, which would have been unheard of at the beginning of the year.
Key player: Ted Ku-DiPietro
Following an interesting week where Loudoun United’s rostered players saw a lot of time in D.C. United jerseys in the Capital Cup, one of the few attacking players that saw minimal time over the three friendlies was Ku-DiPietro, who had 21 minutes as a substitute on July 7 and started in Loudoun’s loss to Miami Sunday. Against a Hounds team without defenders Jordan Dover (injury), Mekeil Williams, and Jelani Peters (Gold Cup), an effort similar to the one he logged in the last game could help buoy the weary midfielders and forwards and keep the Hounds on their heels.
Location: Highmark Stadium (Pittsburgh, PA)
Kickoff time: 7:00 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. is loaning: The usual gang of Jacob Greene, Kimarni Smith, and Jovanny Bolivar should be ready, it remains to be seen if Michael DeShields who had been dealing with a muscle injury the last week or so is good for this one. Jeremy Garay apparently had a similar injury but seems to have made the trip to Primanti land.
Past that, it’s wondering who will be ready to go past the backline, who played Sunday for Loudoun (special shout to Academy player Owen Walz for his first goal as a pro) and did not come into play Wednesday.
Starters: Jermaine Fordah; Walz, Timmy Mehl, Robby Dambrot; Ku-DiPietro, Tyler Gabarra, Garay, Gaoussou Samake; Giovanni Montesdeoca; Abdellatif Aboukoura, Darluis Paz
Bench: Noah Abrams, Matt Di Rosa, Alexxon Saravia, Jacob Greene, Massimo Ferrin, Smith, Bolivar
Key Pittsburgh player/former D.C. players: Kenardo Forbes
On the former, I mentioned Forbes, who came on as a second-half substitute in the last game between the two, as one to watch for danger on the outside and his chance creation is amongst the best in the League. The team plays at home, their first game after 10 days off and Hounds coach Bob Lilley is acutely aware of the team’s slow start in the last game, Forbes will be called upon to lead the bunch. Jalen Robinson and Shane Wiedt are still with the Hounds as they were last time, and are presumed favorites to start.
Referee: Not announced as of Friday night.
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What do we have to say about it?: He may be injured, but my look at forward Sammy Sergi coming back home to play pro ball is worth a couple of minutes.
What are you drinking?: Well if you ever go to a Loudoun game, there is a bottle shop/homebrew supply nearby that has a superb selection, so I’ll grab everything new to distro (looking at you Mortalis!) before kickoff.
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