PITTSBURGH – Dominic Gasso scored the only goal with 12 minutes to go as No. 8 seed Detroit City FC stunned No. 1 seed Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2023 USL Championship Playoffs at Highmark Stadium.
The 20-year-old DCFC Academy product laced home an outstanding finish after a set piece was only half-cleared to the top of the penalty area, marking the only shot on target for the visitors in a tightly-fought contest. Le Rouge sealed their first postseason victory in the USL Championship in stoppage time as goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher produced an outstanding save to deny Pittsburgh’s Albert Dikwa as the Players’ Shield winners were eliminated on only their second home loss of the season.
1. Dominic Gasso could hardly have timed what was arguably his best performance yet for Detroit City FC in the USL Championship better. The 20-year-old Academy product had less than 900 minutes of league play this season, but ably illustrated why Head Coach Trevor James showed so much faith in his qualities both in scoring his first professional goal but also putting in a major shift in his role as holding midfielder. Gasso worked to record three interceptions and 11 recoveries while winning 4 of 5 ground duels and 3 of 5 aerial duels before his blistering finish made the difference in the scoreline.
2. Detroit City FC likely knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty performance that was needed to advance against the Hounds, and they delivered exactly what was needed in the defensive third to allow Gasso’s finish to hold up as the winner. Pittsburgh had a 13-3 advantage in overall shots, but Detroit blocked six of them before Nathan Steinwascher did what he always seems to in making a clutch late save. Le Rouge will relish this win, and now look forward to heading to Louisville City FC next weekend.
3. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC was by a margin the most consistent team in the USL Championship this season but simply couldn’t get over the line when it mattered most. In front of a club-record crowd of 6,124 fans at Highmark Stadium, the Hounds huffed and puffed all night only to be met by outstanding resistance. The success that the side’s hard work had regularly produced in the way of goals just wasn’t quite there on this occasion, with Albert Dikwa’s last-gasp header the best chance the side saw all night. As successful as this campaign has been, Saturday night will leave a bitter taste going into the offseason.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Game
Dominic Gasso, Detroit City FC – The young standout was effective defensively in Le Rouge’s road performance, winning 6 of 6 duels and 3 of 5 tackles before scoring a spectacular game-winner.
DET – Dominic Gasso 78’