USL PRO Match Preview: Riverhounds Hunt For A Win In Orange County
By Josh Brokaw
This Sunday at 7:00 PM EST the Pittsburgh Riverhounds will be in Orange County at Cal State Fullerton Titan Stadium facing off against the Los Angeles Blues. This will be the first meeting between these two teams this season and the Riverhounds second game this weekend.
At this point I’m not even going to fool myself into believing that the Riverhounds have a snowballs chance in California of coming out of their westward trip with six points. What’s more important though is if the Pittsburgh team believes they have what it takes to finally get a win, and I’m honestly not sure they do.
It’s hard to say what to expect from Sunday’s game without knowing how the Hounds first game of the weekend turns out. If the team is able to gain a victory in Phoenix they might be able to use that momentum against the Blues. But if they go down swinging on friday then I have a hard time seeing Pittsburgh doing more than treading water against LA. I’m also curious to see if they will field their best players against LA or if they play against Phoenix. Last weekend the team decided to give goalie Hunter Gilstrap a rest against Charlotte so he would be in top shape against the Charleston Battery the next day. They might opt to do the same this weekend.
Even if Pittsburgh does field their A-team against the Blues they will still be playing away against one of the best teams in the league. I think the best they can hope for is a draw. A very hard fought draw at that. Unfortunately Pittsburgh spent their offseason gaining most of their new talent in the front half of the field and not in their defence.
While this will be the second leg of the Riverhounds doubleheader it will be the first leg for the LA Blues. They will be playing against the LA Galaxy Reserves just two days later on Tuesday, May 7th. This could be a blessing for the Hounds because the team might want to save their better players for their first ever game at the Home Depot Center.
The Blues are sitting second in the standings, although they have the most games played out of anyone right now so take that for what it’s worth. I doubt they will go down easily even with a bigger game coming so close after Sunday’s match against the Hounds. They will want to do all they can to keep their high standings.
Maybe I’m just being overly cynical and the game won’t be as much of a challenge for the Hounds as I’m making it out to be. Here’s hoping at least…
So what do you think? Do the Hounds have a chance? Can the LA Blues fend off the Hounds and the Galaxy? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on twitter @CharlieBlix.