Early Griffin Goal Gives Hounds Victory
Since joining the professional ranks in 2020, Danny Griffin has been lauded by Riverhounds manager Bob Lilley for his presence as a defensive midfielder. Saturday night's contest vs Birmingham Legion saw Griffin thrust into an attacking midfield role he has rarely seen since joining the club.
Bob Lilley's positional swap paid immediate dividends as Griffin scored the lone goal of the contest in the 4th minute, calmly settling a cross from Nate Dossantos, turning on the ball and slotting it past Birmingham 'keeper Matt Van Oekel.
The 'Hounds knocked on the door several times in the first half, creating well over half a dozen legitimate chances--the vast majority off well played crosses from the wings that had Birmingham opened up. The halftime possession stats were gaudy--Over 60% for the Riverhounds.
The second half saw fewer chances for the home side but they still held the majority of the possession. As legs tired, Lilley flipped four players in the back and midfield to close out the game with a little bit of what we at TRB like to call "Bob Ball".
The 'Hounds high press caused Birmingham fits the entire night and Bob Lilley minted this victory as their best performance of the season. They were able to isolate former US National Team member and MLS veteran Juan Agudelo up top, rendering the dangerous striker all but inept as Birmingham's primary mode of attack was to simply shoot long balls over the top in his direction.
With the victory, the Riverhounds are now 5-0-0 at home on the season and will face El Paso Locomotive next Saturday, May 14 at 7 PM. El Paso features several players with European experience, including veterans Richie Ryan and Luis Solignac.
TRB Man Of The Match: Danny Griffin. Scored the only goal of the match, played in the 10 spot instead of his usual 6\8 spot, still brought the same high workrate that he's become respected for. One of the top midfielders in the entire USL.
Riverhounds SC — Kevin Silva; Nate Dossantos, Mekeil Williams (Jelani Peters 78’), Arturo Ordóñez, Luke Biasi (Shane Wiedt 78’); Marc Ybarra (Luis Argudo 78’), Kenardo Forbes (Dani Rovira 78’); Russell Cicerone, Danny Griffin, Alex Dixon; Albert Dikwa
Birmingham Legion FC — Matt Van Oekel; Mikey Lopez, Phanuel Kavita, Alex Crognale, Jonathan Dean; Marlon Santos (Jake Rufe 56’), Anderson Asiedu, Enzo Martinez (Ryan James 86’), Zach Herivaux (Thomas Vancaeyezeele 86’), Prosper Kasim (Bruno Lapa 78’); Juan Agudelo (Edi Horvat 56’)
PIT: Danny Griffin 4’ (Nate Dossantos)
BHM: Phanuel Kavita 87’ (YC)
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Photo and video credit: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Media Department