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MATCH PREVIEW: OTTAWA FURY FC @ PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC

By Ottawa Fury FC, 06/06/19, 3:00PM EDT

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MATCH DAY INFO
Ottawa Fury FC @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Kickoff: Saturday, June 8 – 7:00 p.m. – Highmark Stadium

THE MATCHUP

Fury FC heads back on the road to face off against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC after a solid 4-1 win that pushed the unbeaten streak to six (four wins, two draws) and sprung the club up the USL Championship Eastern Conference table. The team will make the trip with the mission of further establishing its chances at making the playoffs and pushing ever closer to the franchise consecutive goal-a-game record (Saturday, June 8, KO 7 p.m., OttawaFuryFC.com)

STORYLINES

  • Fury FC newcomer Mour Samb now has six goals in nine games, having missed the first two games of the season after arriving late to training camp. He is the USL Championship Eastern Conference points leader with 6 goals, 4 assists for a total of 10 points and an average of 75.7min per point. He was also selected on the Team of the Week for week 13.
  • The 4-1 win on Sunday pushed Ottawa's unbeaten streak to six (four wins, two draws) and sprung the club up the USL Championship Eastern Conference table into a three-way tie for fourth place with Indy Eleven (21pts, 11 games played, 7 goal differential) and Louisville City FC (21pts, 13 games played, 4 goal differential).
  • The offensively challenged 2018 Fury FC team seems but a bad memory: with 17 goals on the board through 11 games, it marks a dramatic change on last year’s record when the team managed 31 in 32 games.
    • Ottawa is still chasing the franchise record of scoring at least one goal in 8 consecutive games, having now scored in its last 6 matches.
  • Fury FC is 7th in the Eastern Conference for goals scored through 13 weeks of action (11 games), but has only conceded 9 (fourth fewest in the division), for the 5th best goal differential in the conference.
  • The Ottawa-Pittsburgh matchup will see two players face their former club: rights to Christiano François were acquired by Fury FC from Pittsburgh in the offseason, while the Riverhounds brought 2018 Fury FC co-leader in scoring Steevan Dos Santos.

SCOUTING THE PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC  

Sporting a new look for the 2018 season after a refresh of the club’s logo and official colors, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC also took a quantum leap forward on the field as the arrival of Bob Lilley as Head Coach turned the side into a serious Eastern Conference contender in just one year. The new season marks the 20th for the Hounds organization, and with Lilley and many of the team’s key figures back for the new year, there are now expectations the Hounds will look to live up to.

Most of the club’s key players are back to try and accomplish that, with All-League defender Joe Greenspan and midfielder Kenardo Forbes leading the way alongside mainstay midfielder Kevin Kerr and 2018 leading scorer Neco Brett. One notable departure to the club’s attacking corps saw the side sell winger Christiano Francois to fellow Championship side Ottawa Fury FC, but Lilley has reinforced his attacking options by bringing in two more players from his USL Cup-winning side at the Rochester Rhinos with Steevan Dos Santos and Christian Volesky both arriving in Pittsburgh. Upgraded squads elsewhere in the East may grab the preseason spotlight, but it would be surprising if the Hounds are unable to go toe-to-toe with anyone over the course of this campaign. (via USL Championship).

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Head Coach Nikola Popovic

“It’s going to be a very difficult match. They are going to be pressing us, we expect not much space to work with. But we’re coming off six good results and we believe we can continue our streak.”

“We always talk about the importance of a good performance and how we want our performances to be consistent. However, it’s normal (to see some inconsistencies) with the travel and sometimes not having the players to have a rotation, all these things can sometimes affect your focus. But the team is progressing well.”

Midfielder Charlie Ward

“We’re on a good momentum with six games now. Every game we’re going into we’re confident. The boys are confident and it’s just about getting in the game. We have to train right, prepare right, look after ourselves right, leading into every game. Getting into every game we’re looking to win. We want to win and play the way that we want to play.”

Captain Carl Haworth

“It’s something we’ve focused on a lot lately, just to be tight at the back and limiting the other team’s chances. And we’ve been successful at that. If we stick to our principles and our game plan it (facing a tough defensive team) will not be an issue.”

HOW TO WATCH
LIVE STREAM:  OttawaFuryFC.com
TWITTER: Follow @OTTAWAFURYFC for LIVE updates #PITTvOTT #ForTheFury
VIEWING PARTY: ByTown Boys SC are hosting a viewing party at The Senate Tavern (1156 Bank St), all are welcome.