At the beginning of June, Loudoun played Pittsburgh Riverhounds and went back and forth with the side but fell short in a 3-2 loss. Four weeks (and four straight losses later), Loudoun returned the favor with a 2-1 win in front of 984 at Segra Field. The win was their first in seven tries with Pittsburgh and their first win at home since October 19, 2019.
Following their 3-0 loss Saturday night, coach Ryan Martin started all four D.C. United loanees in Michael DeShields, Jacob Greene, Jovanny Bolivar, and Kimarni Smith, with Academy players Abdellatif Aboukoura and Owen Walz on the bench. Former D.C. homegrown player Jalen Robinson and Loudoun alum Shane Wiedt started in defense for the Riverhounds, who rested attackers Albert Dikwa, Alex Dixon and Kenardo Forbes, and dressed three goalkeepers Wednesday night.
As the teams came out for the anthem and preparation for kickoff, wind increased and lightning showed up, causing a 98-minute rain delay before the game started. Once play DID start, the Hounds pressed Loudoun early. The hosts recovered and provided pressing of their own, and eventually, Ted Ku-DiPietro launched a rocket:
Going into the second half, Timmy Mehl was pressured into a turnover by Anthony Velarde, and Louis Perez finished it to level the game:
Pittsburgh brought in the bulk of their attack in the 61st minute with Kenardo Forbes, Albert Dikwa, and Alex Dixon; Loudoun brought off three of the loanees, but it was the fourth (Bolivar) who matched Ku-DiPietro’s rocket with one of his own:
Pittsburgh continued to press for a tying goal, and D.C. Academy player Abdellatif Aboukoura (whose assist on the Bolivar goal was his first as a pro) almost scored his first as a professional, but Loudoun’s defense made sure Bolivar’s goal stood, chief among them Jermaine Fordah:
“It was a really good experience for the whole team to get to win at home for the first time in a really long time,” Ku-DiPietro said afterward. “We just gotta keep pushing, play our best against Hartford and keep playing our game.”
Ku-DiPietro reflected on his strike. “I don’t even have the words to describe how good that goal was, because the first goal I had at home (in 2019) was really, really scrappy, so this time for it to go in from that far, I felt really, really good, especially to have my family here, my friends and everyone.”
“For us, we’re just continuing to believe in what we’re doing, all the stats back up that we’re better than our record, and we just believed if you keep getting better, it will happen,” Coach Ryan Martin said. “I didn’t think it was going to be two goals like that, but I’ll take the two goals like that.”
Loudoun (2-7-0) hosts Hartford Athletic on July 4 at 5:00 pm at Segra Field.
USL Championship Regular Season - Game 9
Loudoun United FC 2 (Ku-DiPietro 42, Bolivar 75)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 (Perez 48)
Loudoun (343): Jermaine Fordah; Timmy Mehl (C), Michael DeShields (Robby Dambrot 64), Jacob Greene (Logan Panchot 63); Kairou Amoustapha (Landry Houssou 90), Ted Ku-DiPietro, Jeremy Garay, Gaoussou Samake; Kimarni Smith (Nicky Downs 64), Jovanny Bolivar, Darluis Paz (Abdellatif Aboukoura 67)
Pittsburgh (4231): Jake Leeker; Jalen Robinson, Shane Wiedt, Preston Kilwien, Daniel Rovira; Daniel Griffin, Todd Wharton (Kenardo Forbes 61); Anthony Velarde (C), Louis Perez (Alex Dixon 61), Russell Cicerone; Thomas Williamson (Albert Dikwa 62)
Loudoun - DeShields 15, Loudoun bench 28, Bolivar 46, Greene 57, Mehl 81, Fordah 83, Amoustapha 89, Ku-DiPietro 90+9
Pittsburgh - Wharton 54