Loudoun United came out of Saturday’s game with a bit of a mixed bag of messages. They lost 3-2 to the New York Red Bulls II, though some solid goalkeeping stopped them from a shared or come from behind result. Winger Kairou Amoustapha scored his first two Loudoun goals and the work was good. Now the team finds themselves on the road for their next two games, featuring the leaders of Group F (Loudoun’s group), and the simple fact of the matter is by the end of the week, Loudoun will be playing with some faint glimmer of contention, or will essentially have to win their last 6 games and even then, rely on some help in order to get in. Tonight finds themselves against a tough one.
Key player: Elvis Amoh
Amoh has scored half of the team’s goals, albeit with 3 on penalty kicks. With a couple of players out to injury and rotation (Loudoun plays at Hartford Saturday), Amoh may be called upon to either help provide service to Alioune Ndour or Ted Ku-DiPietro, or help in limiting opportunities for the Hounds attack. If they can crack the team defense which has allowed in 10 games as many goals as Loudoun has scored (8), sneaking a result for the first time against the Group leaders is not impossible.
Location: Highmark Stadium (Pittsburgh, PA)
Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. is loaning: Seeing as how all potential Loudoun loanees played Saturday with D.C. United, doubt any come back around for this.
While Pittsburgh will be missing some players that helped them in the last meeting between the two, Loudoun is expected to be without Amoustapha, Peabo Doue and Alexxon Saravia tonight. It will be interesting to see if coach Ryan Martin goes back to Colin Miller or flip back to Simon Lefebvre for this one, perhaps with another Academy player backing the starter up again. With the lack of fullbacks, Loudoun could go to a 3-man backline to spell Joshua Greene,
Starters: Lefebvre; Nelson Martinez, Shane Wiedt, Timmy Mehl, Joshua Greene; Ally Ng’Anzi, Amoh; Christian Sorto, Michael Gamble, Erumuse Momoh; Joshua Fawole
Bench: Miller, Adam Lundegard, Brandon Williamson, Jeremy Garay, Ted Ku-DiPietro, Tyler Gabarra, Ndour
Key Pittsburgh player: Robbie Mertz
Pittsburgh will be without the services of Eastern Conference assist leader Kenardo Forbes due to injury, but are deep enough in this game at least to go on without him. Mertz can create chances (and assisted on a goal in the Hounds’ 2-0 win at Loudoun last month), and there is enough offense amongst the group that can challenge Loudoun if given the chance.
Referee: As of Monday night, not announced.
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: I’ve been on a sour kick while it’s still summer and such and am currently enjoying the Coastal Sunshine series from Humble Foyager. The Wisconsin brewery is doing thick motor oil stuff a la Burley Oak but minus the lactose (I think?) and are pretty effective and tasty.
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