March 26, 2022
USL Championship League Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Last week, Detroit City FC, the new kids on the USL Championship block, earned their first win in their home opener against one of the USL originals, Charleston Battery. For an encore, the schedule placed another USL original in our path.
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds were founded on March 11, 1998 and played their first match in the A-League on May 1, 1999 against the Cincinnati Riverhawks. During their long tenure, they have never lifted a championship trophy, coming closest when they lost in the semi-finals in 2004 while in the USL PSL, and in both 2006 and 2010 while in the USL 2nd Division. In other words, all their success came before Detroit City FC existed. A couple of their players have been around the league for some time. Dane Kelly has played in 230 matches – the highest in the league among active players and a dozen shy of all-time leader George Davis IV’s 242. Kenardo Forbes is sixth overall and fourth among active players with 15,839 minutes. Kelly is No. 1 overall in goals scored (100, the milestone reached in Pittsburgh’s opening match in Memphis two weeks ago) and Forbes is #1 overall in assists (45). Kelly would not see action today, and Forbes came into the match in the 61st minute. They come into this match with a perfect record, winning both matches they have played (a 3-nil win in Memphis 901 FC and 2-1 win at home against Hartford Athletic).
A bit of trivia: Pittsburgh’s Marc Ybarra is brother of former Detroit City FC player Matt Ybarra. Matt Ybarra will be forever known as the man who started the rally on June 20, 2015 in Cincinnati in the second half of the legendary 10>11 match (and City’s smoke causing the neighbors of the stadium to call the fire department).
It was cold. Really really cold. A high of 36-degrees (2-degrees Celsius) with 20 mph wind making it feel like 21-degrees ( -6 degrees Celsius).
But the Northern Guard brought the heat.
Kevin Silva – GK
Jelani Peters – D
Arturo Ordonez – D
Shane Wiedt – D
Wyatt Borso – M
Nathan Dossantos – M
Marc Ybarra – M
Danny Griffin – M
Albert Dikwa – F
Russell Cicerone – F
Dani Rovira – F
DETROIT CITY FC
Front Row, Left to Right
Deklan Wynne D
Brad Dunwell M
Antoine Hoppenot F
Rhys Williams D
Back Row, Left to Right
Pato Botello Faz F
Maxi Rodriguez M
Devon Amoo-Mensah D
Matt Lewis D
Connor Rutz M
Nate Steinwascher – GK
Stephen Carroll – D
This afternoon’s referee was Adam Kilpatrick. He has been the head referee in 22 matches in the USL Championship between 2019-2021. In 2022, he was the head referee in a match in the NWSL (January 6, 2022 Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars) and three days ago in the New York Red Bull II vs Louisville City FC USL Championship match. He has issued 91 yellow cards and 3 second-yellow cards resulting in ejection from the match in those 24 matches. His assistant referees were Ethen Buege and Eric del Rosario, and Jake Brochu was the Fourth Official
For the first fifteen minutes, there was good pace to the match despite the cold. Perhaps the chill encouraged a quicker play on the pitch. In the 17th minute, Pittsburgh’s Dani Rovira sent the ball out wide to Marc Ybarra. Ybarra served the ball to Wyatt Borso who headed the ball on goal, forcing Nate Steinwascher to make a fingertip save.
On the resulting corner kick, Rovira served it into the box. It was headed on goal by Arturo Ordonez which was blocked, but the rebound found Albert Dikwa who tapped it into the goal, giving the guests a 1-nil lead.
The goal shifted momentum Pittsburgh’s way, and though City dominated possession they couldn’t unlock the Riverhounds’ defense. The half ended with Pittsburgh’s one-goal lead.
City was out-shot 7-1, with Pittsburgh putting 3 on target while City’s only shot was not on-target. City had the edge in possession, controlling the ball 58% of the time to Pittsburgh’s 42%. Whatever tactics Trevor James altered during the locker room talk shifted the match dramatically, for it was City that dominated the second half.
In the 54th minute, Rhys Williams was sent in alone on the Pittsburgh goal. As he took his shot from inside the box, Arturo Ordenez shouldered into him, knocking Rhys to the ground. The ball sailed over the goal and no foul was called. Four minutes later, Deklan Wynne crossed the ball into the box that Connor Rutz headed toward goal. It was deflected by a Riverhound, earning City a corner. Antoine Hoppenot, not happy with the earlier non-call, was shown a yellow card for dissent. On the resulting corner kick, Stephen Carroll almost connected for his first goal of the season, but the shot sailed over the bar.
The first substitution of the match was made by Pittsburgh in the 61st minute when Kenardo Forbes entered in place of Wyatt Borso. In the 67th minute, City’s Devon Amoo-Mensah was shown a yellow card for a take-down of Albert Dikwa. Shane Weidt for Pittsburgh also received a yellow card for dissent. Then a minute later, Marc Ybarra took down Brad Dunwell, which earned him a yellow card.
In the 72nd minute, with City pressing, Danny Griffin pulled Rhys Williams down in the box, leaving referee Adam Kilpatrick with no choice but to point to the spot.
Up stepped Maxi Rodriguez.
After the goal, both teams made substitutions. For Pittsburgh, Marc Ybarra, Albert Dikwa, and Russell Cicerone were withdrawn from the match for Angelo Kelly, Luis Argudo and William Eyang. City made a single substitution, bringing in Billy Forbes for Pato Botello-Faz.
For the second half, Pittsburgh was pushed back on their heels, being forced to employ a not-to-lose strategy against City’s pressure. In the 79th minute, City added Michael Bryant and Abdoulaye Diop, subbing in for Brad Dunwell and Maxi Rodriguez.
The second half saw City out-shoot Pittsburgh 8-1 and level the match.
Three matches in, and the upstart rookie club in the league had beaten one original franchise, drew against another, and impressed against the team favored to win it all. Teams around the league were learning that Detroit City FC was a team to respect.
Player of the Match – Maxi Rodriguez.
Maxi was named to the league’s Team of the Week for his performance in this match. Aside from the game-tying goal from the penalty spot, he completed 49 of 61 passes and won 12 of 15 duels. The second City player to earn the honors (Nate Steinwascher was named to the Team of the Week for his performance against San Antonio FC).
Detroit City FC 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1
PRSC: Albert Dikwa 18′
DCFC: Maxi Rodriguez (PK) 73′
BY THE NUMBERS:
Possession: DCFC 56.7%, PR 43.3%
Offsides: DCFC 1, PR 5
Corners: DCFC 3, PR 4
Passes: DCFC 549, PR 419
Passing Accuracy: DCFC 77.6%, PR 71.6%
Shots: DCFC 9, PR 8
Shots on Target: DCFC 1, PR 4
Blocked Shots: DCFC 3, PR 1
Fouls: DCFC 9, PR 21
Yellow Cards: DCFC 2 (Hoppenot, Amoo-Mensah), PR 2 (Weidt, Ybarra)
Red Cards: DCFC 0, PR 0
KEEPER KIT RECORD
The purple kit that Nate wore in today’s match is the third of the three kits he donned during the season. The current record based on Nate’s kit is:
- Purple Kit: 1 draw
- Yellow Kit: 1 win
- Blue Kit: 1 loss.
IN OTHER USL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES TODAY:
New Mexico United 1, Orange County SC 1
Miami FC 0, Loudoun United FC 0
Birmingham Legion FC 0, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 2
Louisville City FC 1, Indy Eleven 1
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1, Hartford Athletic 1
Las Vegas Lights FC 0, Memphis 901 FC 1
Oakland Roots 2, Monterey Bay FC 3
Phoenix Rising FC 2, San Diego Loyal SC 3