Hounds Defeated by Red Bulls II in Brandt’s Debut, 0-1

RECAP PROVIDED BY THE PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS

HARRISON, N.J. — The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1-5-3) could not overcome a slow start in head coach Dave Brandt’s debut, losing to the New York Red Bulls II (6-1-3), 1-0, at Red Bull Arena. Their second-straight loss on the road, the lone goal conceded by the Hounds came by way of Junior Flemmings in the eighth minute.

Brandt saw his team let up several early chances off set pieces by New York in the first 20 minutes. For the most part, goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas and company weathered the storm, but were unable to stop Flemmings at the eight-minute mark. Slicing through the middle of the defense, Flemmings received a through-ball from Brandon Allen, and tucked his shot right side of the goal past an aggressive pursuit by Vargas.

Despite New York’s tally, Vargas continued his strong play this season, finishing the match with six saves, while the defense faced 17 shots and nine corner kicks.

The Hounds nearly responded with an equalizer immediately off the ensuing change of possession from the goal, as Drew Russell streaked down the right side of the pitch, placing a perfect cross to the far post for Corey Hertzog. The latter though was unable to secure the goal, as he pushed his header directly into the post.

Pittsburgh recovered in the second half with sustained bouts of possession in the attacking third, but was stymied by a solid effort from New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara. Hertzog had multiple golden opportunities in the 46th minute, but was stopped by Meara on back-to-back chances off a breakaway into the box.

In the 57th minute, Jordan Murrell and Russell almost teamed up for a tally, but the latter pushed a beauty of a cross towards the back post wide. The Hounds would continue to try and push for offensive chances, but no goals were to be found.

Up next for Pittsburgh will be the Charleston Battery (5-2-3) at Highmark Stadium on Saturday, June 4. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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