Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC midfielder Andrew Lubahn will head to his hometown of Erie, Pa. with the club for the Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday. | Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
PITTSBURGH – With three previous stops in his professional career before joining Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC this offseason, Andrew Lubahn has played in a lot of different venues across North America.
One place he hadn’t until now, however, was his hometown of Erie, Pa., with the Riverhounds SC set to visit Erie Commodores FC on Wednesday night in the Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the 26-year-old is especially looking forward to playing in front of family and friends at Gannon University Field.
“I’m super excited,” said Lubahn. “My career has taken me all over except western Pennsylvania [until now]. It’s always nice to play in front of family and friends.”
Lubahn advanced to the Fourth Round of last season’s tournament with the San Francisco Deltas, where the side visited the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium before being eliminated in a 2-0 result that saw current Charlotte Independence midfielder Cordell Cato find the net for the Quakes. That type of opportunity that the Open Cup provides is part of the attraction of the tournament for Lubahn, who is hoping the Hounds can make a run at an MLS side later in the tournament.
“It’s a fun tournament, especially since we’re a lower division team, so we have ambitions of going higher,” said Lubahn. “It’s a good chance to prove yourself at a higher level.”
To get to that point Riverhounds SC will need to avoid an upset on the road in Erie, Pa., which sits about a two-hour drive north of the Steel City. The Hounds’ best recent run in the Open Cup arrived in 2015 as the side took D.C. United to extra time at Highmark Stadium before falling 3-1 in the Fourth Round, but over the past two seasons the club has fallen victim to upsets in the Second Round, including a loss last season to the PDL’s Chicago FC United.
With the side on an eight-game undefeated streak to start the new USL season, though, Lubahn believes the depth in the Hounds’ squad will allow it to secure passage through and into next week’s Third Round.
“Luckily, we have a good, deep roster,” said Lubahn. “All through, everyone can play when they’re called upon, so that’s important. It’s just a manner of managing it well and the guys when they get their opportunities taking care of business.”