Resilient Hounds blank Tampa Bay, 2-0
June 23, 2017 | By Rachael McKriger
Keasel Broome is a professional goalkeeper, so he knows that he could be called up at any minute to start for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Broome had his name erased from being on the Riverhounds bench, to getting written in as the starter. In pregame warmups, Trey Mitchell, Broome’s counterpart in goal, dislocated his shoulder on a routine diving save.
For Broome, it was the first time in his career that he had to get thrown into the match only minutes before the start of the match.
“You never want someone to get hurt but I’m just glad I can help the team out any way I can,” Broome said after the match.
Despite not starting since May, Broome wasn’t rusty at all against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. It was the first time the two teams met, since this is Tampa Bay’s first year in the USL. In goal, Broome made five saves to deny Tamika Mkandawire, Darnell King, Joe Cole, Georgi Hristov and Keith Savage.
“Keasel played a whale of a game and I think the guys in front of him did too,” Riverhounds head coach Dave Brandt said after the match.
Even still, Broome wasn’t the only change in the match. Brandt sat out Romeo Parkes, Jamal Jack and Stephen Okai, who featured in the Riverhounds’ loss to Louisville City FC. Danny Earls replaced Okai in the midfield, Gale Agbossoumonde featured as a centerback for Jack and Chevaughn Walsh earned his first start of the season up top for Parkes.
Furthermore, Marshall Hollingsworth shifted down to left back, while Ben Fitzpatrick started in the midfield. Michael Green also took the right back position. Suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation was Taylor Washington.
“Whether someone’s fatigued and they need a rest, or a push or a little reminder that their spot isn’t guaranteed, we’ve got a number of guys who can play,” Brandt said, about the lineup shake up.
In his first start, Walsh scored the opening goal against the Rowdies, 11 minutes into the match. The goal was assisted by forward Corey Hertzog.
“I had a chance, I tried my best and I took it,” Walsh said. “Corey will play his heart out no matter what. He pushes you to go harder.”
“When Chevy’s on the field and he’s fit and in the right frame of mind, he’s an absolute animal,” Brandt said.
The Riverhounds continued to create chances in the first half, and started out the second half with a more defensive approach. However, toward the last ten minutes of the match, more chances came. Specifically, Hertzog took two shots, which each hit off the crossbar of Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
However, it was Parkes, who entered the match for Walsh in the 60’ minute, who scored the second goal, securing three points for the Riverhounds. The goal occurred in the 88’ minute, and was assisted by captain Kevin Kerr.
Only one yellow card was shown throughout the match, given to Tampa Bay’s Martin Vingaard in the 55’ minute.
The Riverhounds will return to Highmark Stadium on Tuesday, for their annual Independence Day match. They will take the pitch against the Charlotte Independence, with the match starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available through the Riverhounds official website.