I missed my first Riverhounds home game in nearly three years on Saturday due to other commitments, and it looks like I didn’t miss much as the home team ended a three-game home stand with a 3-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence, who bounced back for their first win in four games.
Instead of trying to make any sense of yet another defeat in a long season for the Hounds (2-12-4, 10 points), who are mired near the bottom of the USL’s Eastern Conference Standings, I’ve decided to share a synopsis that covers some of the basics — and through the eyes of some of the other folks who were following the game a little closer than me.
First, here are some of the game highlights — via the Independence…
It’s the same old story for the Riverhounds.
Yeah, that’s actually the way coach Dave Brandt put it.
Several chances in the first half gone un-scored, coupled with mediocre goals given away to the opposing team led to another game with the Riverhounds faltering without a lead.
This pattern has given the team a “strong sense” of not being able to catch a break, Brandt said.
“All you can do, you have to work harder, and you have to do better,” Brandt said. “I think you make your breaks, and we haven’t worked hard enough to make ours.”
After the past two weeks, the Riverhounds might be ready to welcome a road trip.
The Riverhounds’ winless streak extended to six games after goals by Caleb Calvert, Lewis Hilton and Jorge Herrera gave the Charlotte Independence a 3-0 win Saturday night at Highmark Stadium.
The loss ends a three-game homestand for the Riverhounds (2-12-4) without a point, which could make hitting the road for a game at Wilmington next Saturday a welcome relief for the struggling club.
The star for the Independence (8-6-4) wasn’t either of their goal scorers, however. Goalkeeper John Berner made five saves, many of the highlight-reel variety, to first keep his team from falling behind then later preserve the lead and the shutout.
“It was the same old story,” Riverhounds coach Dave Brandt said. “(We had) a bunch of chances in the first half that were not put away and a couple of really average goals to give away.
Riverhounds – Mauricio Vargas – Jack Thompson (Marshall Hollingsworth 46′), Willie Hunt, Sergio Campbell (Zak Boggs 81′), Michael Green – Lebo Moloto, Danny Earls, Stephen Okai (Conor Branson 66′), Kevin Kerr – Corey Hertzog, Alejandro Aguilar (Nick Thompson 66′)
Some random thoughts on the line-up:
- There were few surprises as Dave Brandt predictably started the newest Hound, Alejandro Aguilar, a Costa Rican forward who I am sure the Hounds were hoping be someone who could help with finishing in the final third. To his credit, Aquilar had two shots — with one on goal in 66 minutes of action.
- He also finally returned Stephen Okai to the lineup as well.
- Brandt seems to trying to go between Jack Thompson and Marshall Hollingsworth in the left outside back spot, pulling Thompson at halftime this time around.
- This was the first game since they picked him up that Ryan Adeleye didn’t play.
- Vargas has now started three straight games — and he’s definitely going through some growing pains.
THIS ‘N THAT
Danny Earls picked up his third yellow card in his short season early in the match.
It wasn’t a good sign when early in the match this was happening…
But the Riverhounds were getting shots on goal — but Charlotte’s GK John Berner made some dazzling saves.
Only nine minutes after surrendering the game’s first goal, the Riverhounds gave up another one that pretty much put the game away before the end of the 1st half as Lewis Hilton delivered this bouncing ball — finding room between Okai and Thompson — and past Mauricio Vargas...
At least the Highmark Stadium entertainment crew have been on their game this year…
And this pretty much sums up how Hounds fans feel after yet another home loss..
Next up — a road trip to Wilmington on Saturday, July 30 game at 7 p.m. — for the first meeting of the year against another long-time USL foe– the Hammerheads.