Veteran head coach of the Charlotte Eagles, Mark Steffens has stepped in and revolutionized the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. In 2014, the 'Hounds were winless through ten games to start the campaign but their first win came at Sahlen's Stadium (also the team's first win in the Flower City in 19 tries over the years).
Earlier in the 2014 season, a 1-0 loss at home to Rochester forced the Riverhounds to sack then-coach Justin Evans. Don't expect anything like that to unfold for Pittsburgh in 2015. A handsome and insightful follower of the USL had nothing but praise for the hiring of Mark Steffens back in December.
The Steffens era has started superbly well as the Riverhounds defeated cross-state rivals (the so-called Keystone Derby Cup) Harrisburg City Islanders 5-2. Pittsburgh only scored more than 3 goals in a single match once last year against an awkwardly equipped Real Salt Lake Reserves team.
The clear dangermen for Pittsburgh are the pair who combined for all five goals last week; Kevin Kerr and Rob Vincent. Kerr scored a hat-trick while Vincent picked up a pair of goals and assists from midfield. Another threat in midfield is former Rhinos left back/winger Danny Earls, who has lethal against Rochester last season.
Exciting news for Rhinos/Revs' fans is the fact that Tyler Rudy and Timi Mulgrew have finally joined Rochester on loan. The astute writers at the Bent Musket predicted these two rookies would be prime candidates for a long-term assignment in Western New York.
Mulgrew notched 64 points in 74 games for George Mason University and could bring a much-needed finishing touch to Rochester's attack.
Rudy will join a packed midfield for the Rhinos but the Georgetown alumnus may add a cleaner transition element so that Rochester can build plays from the defense through to the forwards without relying solely on balls over the top.
Rochester will look to use its affiliation with an MLS side as an advantage over the orphaned Pittsburgh Riverhounds whose 2014 partner Houston Dynamo hooked up with Charleston this year.
The 7pm kickoff runs concurrent to the Revolution match against Colorado but YouTube allows viewers to scroll back and manually replay important moments in Rochester's USL regular season game at Pittsburgh.