Photo courtesy of Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds ended a five-game winless streak as Chevaughn Walsh and Romeo Parkes each tallied a goal for a 2-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Thursday at Highmark Stadium. Walsh scored his first of the season in the 11th minute and Parkes netted an insurance goal in the 88th minute. Pittsburgh had sustained heavy pressure from Tampa Bay for much of the second half. Goalkeeper Keasel Broome, a last-minute inclusion for the starting lineup, earned the shutout. The Riverhounds could have made things easier for themselves, particularly late when Corey Hertzog hit the frame twice within the 86th minute – a header off the crossbar and a right-footed strike off the right post. Fortunately for the Riverhounds, their second-half sub Parkes came through at the close. The Riverhounds were 0-3-2 in their previous five matches and earned their first victory since a 1-0 decision over Ottawa Fury FC on May 13. Tampa Bay is now winless in six straight (0-2-4) and has not earned a victory since a 3-1 road decision at Toronto FC II on May 19. With the win, Pittsburgh improves to 5-6-4 (19 points) overall and 3-4-1 at home. The Rowdies fall to 6-4-6 (24 points) overall and 1-3-4 on the road.
11’ – PGH – Chevaughn Walsh (Corey Hertzog)
88’ – PGH – Romeo Parkes (Kevin Kerr)
#PGHvTBR: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. The Riverhounds had only scored twice this month heading into their match against the Rowdies, so getting an early offensive contribution was a welcome sight. Jamaican forward Chevaughn Walsh notched his first of the season in the 11th minute, cutting to his right foot and firing to the right side of the frame from 18 yards out for a 1-0 lead. The 2016 Premier Development League MVP, who signed with the Hounds in August of last year, showed some strong control in collecting in eluding his defender a couple touches after receiving the pass from Corey Hertzog from midfield. Walsh also threatened in a buildup manner, setting up midfielder Kenroy Howell in the 44th minute. Howell received with his back to the goal, turned and tried to slot toward the right of the frame and Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens came up with the save.
2. The Riverhounds suffered a couple defensive setbacks heading into Thursday’s game. Taylor Washington served a one-game suspension because of yellow card accumulation, with Michael Green getting the start in his place. But the unexpected setback came during pregame warmups when goalkeeper Trey Mitchell injured his shoulder. Pittsburgh made the last-minute switch with Keasel Broome in the net. Broome stepped up in the moment in the 30th minute when he was one-on-one against the Rowdies’ Joe Cole. Cole made a strong run toward the left of the box, and Broome turned his left-footed shot away from point-blank range. Broome also had several stops from close range in second-half stoppage time to prevent the Rowdies from finding the score sheet.
3. Tampa Bay, on the flip side, had some adjusting as well, from Deshorn Brown signing with D.C. United earlier in the week, to Damion Lowe on international duty with Jamaica, to injuries to key pieces such as Michael Nanchoff and Leo Fernandes in recent days, making this midweek match a difficult one to manage for Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Keasel Broome, Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Called late into action during pregame, Broome stepped up with a five-save clean sheet.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Charlotte Independence – July 4, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Cincinnati – July 6, 8 p.m. ET, Al Lang Stadium