skip navigation

Preseason Roundup – Diene, Hounds earn victory in Louisville

By Staff, 03/03/24, 9:21AM EST


Legion FC romps to victory in Chattanooga; Fernandes scores winner for Rowdies

Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Babacar Diene scored the only goal early in the second half as Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC took a 1-0 victory against Louisville City FC at Thurman Hutchins Park on Friday afternoon to wrap up the preseason schedules for both clubs ahead of the 2024 USL Championship campaign.

Diene, a first-year pro out of Rider University, netted his second goal of the preseason after Kenardo Forbes slipped a pass to Junior Etou around the left side of the defense nine minutes into the second half. Etou sent a cross toward goal, and Diene met the ball at the near post to redirect it into the net.

“We took some pressure early, but in the second part of the first half, we started to get in behind them and cause some problems. We built up, played pretty well in the second half and looked comfortable in possession,” said Hounds Head Coach Bob Lilley. “We still want to get better with possession and creating chances, but we keep growing, and this is probably the best we defended all preseason. Louisville had chances, but very few clean looks. We blocked shots and defended well in their box.”

Louisville had chances in either half, including a header by Elijah Wynder that was saved just before the half-hour mark and a shot by Adrien Perez that was turned onto the post by the Hounds’ goalkeeper to preserve the lead for the visitors.

“This is our first poor result of the preseason, and you learn a lot about a group through adversity,” Cruz said. “We’ll see how the guys respond, and I’m confident when they come back in next week they’ll be ready to go.”

BIRMINGHAM LEGION FC 3, CHATTANOOGA FC 0: Tabort Etaka Preston and Tyler Pasher each scored first-half goals to lead Legion to victory against Chattanooga FC of MLS NEXT Pro at Finley Stadium.

Birmingham took the lead in the 18th minute when Preston found space on the right side and sent a looping effort into the top-left corner of the net. Six minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage as Mohamed Buya Turay was brought down in the penalty area, allowing Pasher to step up and convert to the bottom-right corner from the spot.

Buya Turay added a third 11 minutes into the second half as he found space in the left side of the penalty area and slotted home from close range, and from there Legion was able to see out a comfortable victory.

TAMPA BAY ROWDIES 3, HUNTSVILLE CITY FC 2: Leo Fernandes scored his second goal in as many preseason games as his finish from the penalty spot deep into second-half stoppage time lifted the Rowdies to their fourth victory of the preseason at IMG Academy against Huntsville City FC of MLS NEXT Pro.

Cal Jennings put the Rowdies on top in the 20th minutes after Damian Rivera fought off a defender and drove toward the goal line before centering a cross for an unmarked Jennings, who calmly converted the chance. Since joining the Rowdies on loan from the New England Revolution, Rivera has netted two goals and two assists in three appearances.

Manuel Arteaga then doubled Tampa Bay’s lead in the 64th minute, cutting back toward his right to shake off his defender before rifling a shot into the back of the net.

Huntsville got back on level terms with two penalty opportunities in the span of six minutes. A Rowdies preseason trialist was whistled for a handball, leading to Huntsville’s first goal from the spot in the 71st minute. Then in the 77th minute, Huntsville equalized from the penalty spot after defender Freddy Kleemann was whistled for a foul in the box.

The Rowdies pushed hard to find a go-ahead goal in the final stages of the match and did so through Fernandes, who was was clipped down in the box while trying to drive toward goal, eliciting the third whistle for a penalty of the night. Fernandes stepped to the spot and deftly buried the chance.

“We always want to win first and foremost, but it’s a preseason match and we’re still working on a few things to get ready for March 16,” said Rowdies defender Forrest Lasso. “Personally speaking from the defensive side, I’m a little disappointed we conceded two but that is what is. Hopefully we can move forward and learn from it. I thought we had a lot of decent bits of play there. The main thing for us is mentality. Some guys said it before the game, but our identity is our mentality. If we continue to show up and do the dirty work off the ball, I think the quality and skills we have will show through.”

INDY ELEVEN 3, DETROIT CITY FC 1: Augustine Williams struck early before finishes by Callum Chapman-Page and Aedan Stanley found the net as Indy Eleven earned victory against Detroit City FC at Grand Park on Friday afternoon.

Williams opened the scoring in just the second minute as a corner kick from the right deflected into the center of the penalty area where the Sierra Leone international was able to bounce home a finish into the right corner. Le Rouge equalized from the penalty spot in the 17th minute when Elvis Amoh converted, but Indy regained the lead off another corner kick from the right as Chapman-Page got on the end of a back-post cross to head in.

Stanley added a third for the hosts six minutes before the halftime break as he received possession in the left channel and fired home a shot to the bottom-right corner from distance, and that wrapped up the scoring as Indy withstood Detroit’s second-half opportunities.

CHARLESTON BATTERY 3, SOUTH GEORGIA TORMENTA FC 1: The Charleston Battery rallied from an early deficit to take victory against USL League One side South Georgia Tormenta FC at Tormenta Stadium through goals by Leland Archer, Emilio Ycaza and Juan David Torres.

Tormenta took the lead in the 29th minute when Sebastian Vivas tucked home a finish from close range after good work by a trialist to set up the opportunity, but the Battery leveled eight minutes before halftime when Aaron Molloy’s corner kick from the right found Archer in the left side of the penalty area for a header that picked out the right corner of the net.

Charleston took the lead five minutes into the second half when Josh Drack wove to the byline on the left and cut back a cross to Ycaza, whose effort from the left side of the penalty area found its way into the bottom-right corner. The Battery wrapped up the victory with nine minutes to go when Torres found space outside the top-right corner of the penalty area and curled an impressive finish into the left corner.  

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos