In a match-up of the USL's two highest scoring attacks, it's not a stretch to think that the regular season-record crowd of 8,414 fans at Louisville Slugger Field left more than a little disappointed from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds' 1-0 win over Louisville City on Saturday night. Not only was the result the opposite of what the home fans were looking for, it came in a slow, sluggish and dull affair that produced only four shots on goal and saw its only goal come from the penalty spot.
Perhaps as a result of fatigue, following the team's 3-1 win over Orlando City in a midweek friendly, Louisville came out as flat as ever, which continues a disturbing trend for the Royals. Louisville is just 3-5-4 in competitive games in which they didn't get a full week of training.
"I think when you've got so many games in such a short period, you can't really do a whole lot of training," Head Coach James O'Connor said. "If you look at this last week when we've played on a Tuesday [against Orlando City], your training intensity has to be mindful of the games you're going to play."
Louisville's slow start was compounded by a clear penalty call on a Bryan Burke foul in the final minute of first half. Burke was beaten on the play and dragged down his mark to set Rob Vincent up for the penalty that would decide the game.
"I thought first half we were very lackluster," O'Connor said. "I thought there was a lack of intensity to our play. I thought second half we had a lot more intensity. Obviously, I don't want to speak too much about the officials."
With a win, Louisville City would have clinched a playoff spot. However, on the heels of the loss, Louisville City will try to return to its winning ways Wednesday night in the final regular season home game of the year against the Harrisburg City Islanders. Kickoff will be at 7:30.
Sidney Rivera Back to Orlando?
Orlando City loanee Sidney Rivera hasn't made much of an impact yet at his new home in Pittsburgh, and didn't make the trip to Louisville with his current crop of USL teammates. The Old Dominion alum is still listed as "Loaned Out" on Orlando City's official roster on its website, but was in Orlando celebrating Darwin Cerén's children's birthday, per this tweet from Orlando City's Twitter account.
Rivera has featured once in a three-minute cameo for Pittsburgh since being loaned.