ERIE, Pa. — Looking ahead to kickoff …
• Who: Riverhounds at Erie Commodores
• When: 7:05 p.m.
• Where: McConnell Family Stadium
• Streaming: U.S. Soccer
• Tickets: Available
• Boxscore: U.S. Soccer Federation — Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
• Media notes: Hounds | Erie
FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE WITH GRUBBA
8:49: FINAL. Hounds get the job done on the road, and they’ll host the Detroit-Cincinnati winner next Wednesday. That other game is 1-1 at the moment. Riverhounds 2, Erie 1.
8:48: Brett with a bad mistake hitting a ball straight to Neto. Erie tries to counter, but Adewole wins the ball just across midfield.
8:46: We’re into stoppage time, and it will be just two minutes as François’ speed wins a free kick.
8:46: Hounds win a corner here in the 90th minute. They play short to kill off the clock, but it quickly goes out for a goal kick.
8:44: Hounds seem to be getting back into a bit of a shell here. They want to see this lead out, while Erie is going very directly now.
8:42: Foul against Roberts about 45 yards from goal. Commodores fire it into the box, but the Hounds are able to defend it. Play ends with a goal kick, and we’re down to four minutes plus stoppages here.
8:39: SUB. Erie will go for its second change after the Hounds win a goal kick. Ashley Phillips in the man off, Tulio Melo is on for a more attacking player late. 84th minute.
8:36: SUB. The Cheetah is up. Christiano François is preparing to come in. Erie might have a hard time dealing with that speed coming on as fresh legs, as Noah Franke gives way in the 81st minute.
8:34: SUB. Hounds make their first change with Ray Lee coming on for Lubahn at left back. 78th minute.
8:33: SAVE. Nearly tied there. Simpson on the counter is able to cut inside Dover for Erie, and he gets a low shot away. Kirk down to his left to parry it around the bar for a corner.
8:32: CAUTION. Lubahn in the book in his hometown of Erie. He caught an Erie player from behind as the Hounds were trying to keep the ball in the Commodores’ end. Foul not needed there. 76th minute.
8:31: CHANCE. Ball falls for Brett inside the box, and he turns to shoot quickly. Much to the Commodores’ relief, the shot hits the brick house behind the goal. (You saw what I did there.)
8:29: Kirk goes up and catches in some contact on a free kick thumped forward from midfield. He’s been solid today in his first start; hard to fault him for the one Erie goal when there was a man unmarked and he still made the initial save.
8:28: Hounds go on a good counter, Franke sends Holland through on the left, but it runs too far from him on his first touch. Goal kick.
8:26: CAUTION. Andy Bennett in the book for the Commodores after taking down Joe Holland on a counter. Probably a well-advised tactical foul in the 70th minute.
8:22: SUB. Gabriel Dos Santos on, Craig Quinn off for Erie. 67th minute.
8:21: Franke takes a shot from distance, and Neto has to get down and body that one away.
8:18: Holland to Brett to Goodman in some close quarters. Goodman tries to hit the shot quickly, but it rises just over the crossbar.
8:16: Holland steps over, and Kerr takes it as the second man through. He had some good spin on the ball, but it slides just over the bar. Neto was leaping for it — he wasn’t sure that was high.
8:16: Dover tees up a shot, and Solomon handles it trying to block for Erie. Free kick from 20 yards out for the Hounds. Big moment here at the hour mark.
8:14: Free kick to the Hounds about 45 yards from goal. They take it short, as they’re clearly trying to reestablish their dominance in possession.
8:13: Commodores pressing high now, and it’s taking the Hounds a minute to adjust. A couple hospital balls out of the back, Vancaeyezeele almost got a leg taken out receiving one just now.
8:11: Hounds pretty unhappy with that turn of events. The second take on the corner kick is cleared, and Erie goes the other direction with it.
8:10: Ball in the net off the head of Hugh Roberts, but the goal is disallowed, with our referee saying he wanted the ceremonial restart (aka, his whistle) on the corner.
8:09: A lot of midfield play here in the start of the second half. Hounds finally win a corner here in the 54th minute.
8:00: Erie will get us started kicking toward the scoreboard end.
7:59: Hounds first back out on the field, along with the referees. Commodores getting the most out of their rest period, it seems.
7:45: HALFTIME. I can only imagine what Bob Lilley’s halftime speech will be after giving up that late goal, where Simpson was unmarked on the right. Both backs got sucked too far inside. All the same, it’s still Riverhounds 2, Erie 1.
7:43: GOAL. Erie pulls one back. Good cross to Jack Simpson, who got free on the right side. Kirk with a good save to stop Simpson one-on-one, but Cam Philpot was there to put in the rebound for his second goal of the cup after scoring last week against Rochester. Riverhounds 2, Erie 1. 44th minute.
7:40: Commodores going a little more direct the last few minutes. It has won them a few free kicks, but they’ve also been vulnerable on the counter when the Hounds win it cleanly. Down 2-0, they’ll have to push like that more.
7:36: Mike Kirk comes out to the top of his box to collect a ball through by Erie. That might have been his first live-ball touch this game in his first professional start.
7:32: Adewole with some good work again on Rigg in the defensive corner. He wins a goal kick for the Hounds to end a quick foray into attack by Erie.
7:29: Excellent build-up to create that penalty. Franke and Dover worked on the right side, then Holland showed up centrally. They worked the ball nicely between them with a series of passes before sending Franke into the right side of the box. He split two defenders — couldn’t tell which one actually tripped him up — but it was a clear penalty. No argument from the Commodores’ side.
7:28: GOAL!! Kerr slots it home to the left side. Neto guessed the correct way, but too well-placed by the Hounds’ captain. Riverhounds 2, Erie 0. 30th minute.
7:27: PENALTY. Franke tripped up in the box, and the Hounds will go to the spot.
7:25: Kerr whips in a free kick from the right side, but Erie heads clear for a throw-in deep on the right side.
7:24: Bob Lilley audible from the press box on the opposite side. “Find the ball!” is his latest exhortation to his midfield, as his right side players were too far wide with the ball on the left.
7:19: CHANCE. Holland beats his man down the left and cuts onto his preferred right foot. His shot is blocked, and the second attempt by Franke, a volley, sails over the ball.
7:16: Another nice spell of possession by the Hounds. Goodman finds Franke out wide on the right, and his return ball makes its way to Kerr on the left. Kerr gets to the goal line, but he’s on his left foot, and the cross is too close to Neto, who catches.
7:14: CHANCE. Franke chips through for Brett, who tries to lay it back to Franke in the center. Neto off his line quickly for Erie to stop the ball and send Franke flying over the top.
7:12: I called that midfield correctly in pregame. Goodman and Vancaeyezeele are the holding pair, Kerr is central, Holland left, Franke right for the attacking mids.
7:10: Kerr chips toward the back post and Roberts, but Erie able to clear.
7:09: Franke beats his defender on the right, and wins a free kick just outside the box for the Hounds.
7:07: Now the Commodores do get a free kick out wide on the left. Good service sent in by Philpot, but Roberts rises above the crowd to head it away.
7:06: Shouts for a penalty by Erie, but it looked like Adewole just cleanly outmuscled Rigg for a bouncing ball there.
7:02: GOAL! Vancaeyezeele powers a header in directly from Kerr’s corner kick. He was unmarked about 8 yards from goal. Too easy for the Hounds. Riverhounds 1, Erie 0.
7:02: First corner of the game to the Hounds after Brett’s shot from the top of the box is blocked away.
7:01: So the Armada, the Erie supporters’ group, is directly behind the Hounds bench, while the Steel Army’s traveling support is behind the Commodores’ bench.
7:00: Holland sends an early cross into the box, just a little too far for Brett or Kerr on the right side.
6:58: And we’re starting early! Hounds kick of running toward the scoreboard end here at Gannon University.
6:54: Lineups being announced. Loud cheer for Erie native Andrew Lubahn when he got announced in the Hound lineup.
6:50: Teams off the field; we’ve gotten in the habit of putting 7:05 on the kickoff time here, but this one might actually start on time!
6:40: It’s a narrow field here, probably a little more so than Highmark, which will be something to watch out for as we progress. A few of the non-starters have to shag balls behind the net while shooting warm-up happens. All part of the beauty of cup soccer!
6:27: I’m headed down to the field for a moment. If you’ll look above, we’ve finally got the link posted to U.S. Soccer’s live stream/match center, as well.
6:23: Here’s the Hounds bench, based on who is on the field warming up. Dan Lynd, Todd Pratzner, Ben Zemanski, Romeo Parkes, Kenardo Forbes, Ray Lee, Christiano François.
6:20: Here’s the Erie Commodores, also listed in a 4-5-1.
- Nicolau Neto, GK
- Casey Bartlett-Scott, D
- Andrew Bennett, D
- Kwame Opoku, D
- Ashley Phillips, D
- Fernando Martinez, M
- Cameron Philpot, M
- Craig Quinn, M
- Jack Simpson, M
- Austin Solomon, M
- Steven Rigg, F
6:15: Here’s the Riverhounds starters, listed as a 4-5-1 and with no indication of how the midfield is arranged. My best guess is Vancaeyezeele and Goodman as the holding pair, Kerr, Franke and Holland in the advance roles (4-2-3-1?)
- Mike Kirk, GK
- Andrew Lubahn, LB
- Tobi Adewole, CB
- Hugh Roberts, CB
- Jordan Dover, RB
- Bakie Goodman, MF
- Thomas Vancaeyezeele, MF
- Joe Holland, MF
- Noah Franke, MF
- Kevin Kerr, MF
- Neco Brett, ST
6:10: Took a little while to get set up with an internet connection, but we’re up and running here in Erie. Lineups are already in, although we don’t have the list of who is on the bench.
The Riverhounds embark on their season-within-a-season by taking on the Erie Commodores of the National Premier Soccer League — one of two fourth-division leagues sanctioned by U.S. Soccer — in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
As a USL (second-division) team, the Hounds are entering the competition in this round, while the Commodores advanced 4-3 on penalties after a playing to a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes last week against the Rochester Lancers, another NPSL team. This is the Commodores’ first appearance in the Open Cup and the first meeting between the two clubs.
The Hounds have lost their opening cup match in the past two seasons after reaching the fourth round in 2015. Overall, the team is 9-13-3 in the Open Cup, reaching the quarterfinals (which was then the fourth round) in 2001 and the fourth round in 2014, as well. The Hounds are 2-0 all-time against NPSL teams, defeating Chattanooga FC in 2011 and the New York Red Bulls U-23 in 2014.
Because of injuries, coach Bob Lilley said the team traveling to Erie likely will be the same as the group traveling for the team’s USL match Saturday at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, but expect to see fresh faces in the starting lineup in Erie as some regulars will be rested but available off the bench. For more on that, check out my three keys to the game for the second-round cup match.