Preview: Pittsburgh Riverhounds v. Real Maryland
By Matthew Skinner
Real Maryland (3-15-1) will be wanting to end its inaugural USL-2 season on a high note when it travels to face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (3-10-5) this Saturday at 7:05PM at Chartiers Valley High School.
The Monarchs still remain bottom of the USL-2 table after losing on the road to local rivals Crystal Palace Baltimore 3-2 last Thursday. Matthew Mbuta put the home side ahead in the 33rd minute after his strike found the back of the visitor’s net but Victor Ramirez replied for the equalizer in the 77th minute. Palace regained the lead merely two minutes later through David Feazell before Mike Lookingland extended the lead in the 86th minute. Nilson Perez kept the Monarchs in the game with his 90th minute goal before Clint Loughner’s attempt to secure a draw in injury time was ruled offside.
Palace’s victory meant that it was awarded with the DeOrsey Maryland Cup. The Baltimore side won 5-3 on aggregate.
“I think we played a really good game,” remarks head coach Antonio Carolos Vieira. “I’m very sad at the manner in which we lost in the end”.
The Riverhounds are currently 8th in the ladder after the team lost 2-1 at home to league leaders the Charlotte Eagles last Friday. The visitors took a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute after Jorge Herrera’s strike was on target but the Riverhounds responded two minutes later courtesy of Justin Evans’ converted penalty. The two sides were deadlocked for much of the second-half until Jonah Long’s 79th minute goal was enough to win it for the Eagles.
One player certain to standout in this fixture will be midfielder Thabiso Khumalo. The native of South Africa has been in remarkable form in recent weeks having scored five goals from as many games. The Monarchs defenders are aware of the threat Khumalo posses and have planned accordingly.
“I plan to have a good game against Pittsburgh,” asserts defender Daryl Ferguson. “I went to college in the area and I don’t want to disappoint. I know what the Riverhounds are capable of.”
This will be the final game for Real Maryland this season and fans are encouraged to make the drive up to Pittsburgh and send their team out in style!
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