PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds look to move onward and upward from the rough start to the 2016 season when they travel to face expansion FC Cincinnati on Satuday.

The game is already making headlines in both cities, being pushed as the next step in the ongoing Cincy vs. Pittsburgh sports rivalry. The new club in Cincy hopes to set a USL attendance record and have brought in Bengals players Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones as captains.

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The Hounds have also been making some headlines and gaining national attention for all the wrong reasons. Romeo Parkes has since had his contract terminated and been suspended for the remainder 2016 USL season for his violent kick on New York defender Karl Ouimette. 

The vicious incident drew national attention, being shown on ESPN and FOX Sports.

The Riverhounds though, are not going to let this be the defining moment of their season. They are poised and ready to turn things around starting Saturday in Cincy.  I spoke with midfielder Kevin Kerr Thursday after training and the Hounds are upbeat, despite recent events.

They are using the Parkes incident combined with the bad start as a rallying point and are ready to turn the negative in to something positive.

“If anything, it’s given us something to rally around a little bit,” Kerr said. “We have a massive point to prove, we can still be a good team in this league, it’s on us now.”

The Riverhounds have gotten off to slow starts before and have done so again, with a record of 0-3-3. Kerr was part of a Hounds squad that got off to a similar start in 2014, when they didn’t get their first win until June. That squad was able to rally within a point of the playoffs, winning 9 of 13 at one point.

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Kerr is drawing on that experience and think the Hounds can do something similar, but it’s on them getting that first win, no matter how.

“When it’s not going well, you have to go above and beyond every day, every game and dig it out. It doesn’t have to be pretty, we just have to get that first win under our belt,” he said.

Kerr is confident once they get that first win, that many will start to follow.

“When we get that first win, we’ll be off,” he said.

The Riverhounds have a chance to do just that, this Saturday in Cincinnati at 4 p.m.

Hopefully, they can crash the hosts’ party. The Hounds return home next week for a U.S. Open Cup match Wednesday night and then host Toronto in USL play on Saturday, May 21.

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