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Match Preview: Rhode Island FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: April 13, 2024

April 10, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Rhode Island FC News Release

Rhode Island FC returns home to Beirne Stadium on the campus of Bryant University to take on reigning Players' Shield winners Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. With both teams coming off scoreless draws and in search of their first win of the USL Championship season, here's everything you need to know ahead of Saturday's match.


Date | Saturday, April 13

Kickoff | 7:30 PM ET

Location | Beirne Stadium at Bryant University, Smithfield, RI

Tickets | Available here

Broadcast | NESN+, ESPN+

Social | @rhodeislandfc (X, Instagram, Facebook)

Match Hashtag | #RIvPIT


Rhode Island FC

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Koke Vegas, 22-Jackson Lee, 30-Nate Silveira

DEFENDERS (6): 2-Nathan Messer, 3-Stephen Turnbull, 4-Collin Smith, 5-Grant Stoneman, 15-Frank Nodarse, 16-Gabriel Alves, 24-Karifa Yao

MIDFIELDERS (9): 7-Prince Saydee, 12-Clay Holstad, 17-Jojea Kwizera, 18-Joe Brito, 19-Kevin Vang, 21-Kofi Twumasi, 23-Marc Ybarra, 28-Conor McGlynn, 77-Amos Shapiro-Thompson

FORWARDS (4): 9-JJ Williams, 10-Chico, 11-Noah Fuson, 14-Mark Doyle

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Eric Dick, 12-Gabriel Perrotta, 31-Jacob Randolph

DEFENDERS (8): 3-Pat Hogan, 4-Dani Rovira, 5-Sean Suber, 13-Luke Biasi, 22-Jake Lent-Koop, 23 Mike Deshields, 28 Illal Osumanu, 44 Pierre Cayet

MIDFIELDERS (8): 2-Danny Griffin, 8-Junior Etou, 10-Aidan O'Toole, 11-Fernando Forbes, 14-Robbie Metrz, 15-Bradley Sample, 17-Nate Dragisich, 42-Jackson Walti

FORWARDS (5): 7-Langston Blackstock, 9-Emmanuel Johnson, 19-Edward Kizza, 27-Babacar Diene, 45-Kazaiah Sterling


Both squads battled to 0-0 draws at home in their last match, but they did so in much different ways. Here's a look at the defining aspects of each club's last performance.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC - The Finishing Touch

Despite being shut out for the third time in four matches to open the season, Pittsburgh's (0W-3L-1D) draw against Tampa Bay Rowdies showcased the club's highest attacking output of the season. Bob Lilley's side took 29 touches in Tampa's box and outshot the visitors 16-6, a season-high shooting mark that accounted for nearly half of its 40 total efforts in 2024. Pittsburgh struggled to find the frame, however, only putting three of its 16 shots on target to force just two saves from the Rowdies' goalkeeper. Pittsburgh showed promise in the buildup vs. Tampa with 13 of its 16 shots coming from inside the 18-yard box, and will look to improve its execution on the finishing touch against Rhode Island FC on Saturday.

Pittsburgh has struggled to score goals to open the season, but it hasn't been for a lack of opportunities. Through the club's first four matches, Edward Kizza has the lone goal of the season in a 3-1 loss to Louisville City FC. Prior to that match, a 2-0 home loss on March 16 saw Pittsburgh outshoot Orange County SC 14-2 at home, with the visitors scoring the two winning goals off its only shots of the match.

Rhode Island FC - Defensive Stability

Rhode Island FC's (0W-1L-3D) scoreless draw with Charleston Battery was one largely defined by defense. After giving up four second-half goals to Tampa Bay Rowdies on March 30, Khano Smith's side faced a tough test in 2023 USL Championship runners-up Charleston Battery, but was able to solidify the back line for its first clean sheet in club history. Goalkeeper Jackson Lee played a major role in the defensive effort, making a career-high six saves in his second professional start. His first career clean sheet earned him Man of the Match honors and a first-ever selection to the USL Championship Team of the Week.

While both teams had their fair share of chances throughout the match, including a close-range strike from Joe Brito in the 67th minute that nailed the crossbar, things got even tougher for RIFC when a second caution red card was assessed to midfielder Conor Mcglynn in the 70th minute. Despite going down to 10 men, RIFC pulled together defensively and allowed just four shots to end the match, with Lee coming up big with a quick-reflex save deep into second-half stoppage time to secure the draw. For a team that gave up seven goals in its first three matches, a clean sheet against an unbeaten opponent was a welcome sight for fans at Beirne Stadium, and RIFC will look to continue to solidify its play from the back to find success against Pittsburgh.


For seventh-year Head Coach Bob Lilley, who has made the USL Championship playoffs in every season at the helm of Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC so far, the club's 2024 season has gotten off to a slow start. Pittsburgh are 0W-3L-1D through four matches with one point, which came in a scoreless stalemate vs. Tampa Bay at Highmark Stadium after three straight defeats to start the year. Pittsburgh has been shut out in three of its four matches so far this season.

It's a similar story for RIFC, who's 0W-1L-3D record sees the club perched just above Pittsburgh with three points, but still without a win. Despite taking a halftime lead into the locker room for two-straight road trips following a 1-1 draw against New Mexico United in the season opener, the club was unable to hold on in both occasions, and is still looking to hold a lead through the final whistle.

For both teams, flashes of potential have defined the early goings of the 2024 campaign. Both coaches will now look for a complete performance from their squads to gain a vital three points that could elevate both clubs into the top half of the table as we head into month two of regular season action.


Through a combined eight matches this season, only two men between the two rosters have found the back of the net.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC - Edward Kizza

After two shutout losses to begin the season, Pittsburgh's scoring drought finally came to an end in the 59th minute of the club's 3-1 loss to Louisville City FC on March 23. It came when Edward Kizza tapped home Babacar Diene's central cross from close range to equalize in the second half with his eighth career regular season goal for the Riverhounds. The former University of Pittsburgh standout is in his third season with the club after making the move from Major League Soccer's New England Revolution in 2022, and has been a spark in the attack as one of three players with five or more shots so far this season.

Rhode Island FC - Albert Dikwa "Chico"

After spending the last four seasons in Pittsburgh, Chico's breakout year in 2023 saw him score 20 goals in 28 matches, earning him USL Championship Golden Boot and Player of the Year honors. The Cameroonian accounted for 40 percent of Pittsburgh's scoring last year, and has picked up right where he left off in Rhode Island. Coming into his first meeting with Bob Lilley and his former team, the USL Championship veteran has three goals for the Ocean State club, and is the only player to score for the club in its young history so far. His two-match scoring streak came to an end last week against Charleston Battery.


Pittsburgh RIverhounds - Bob Lilley

Currently in his seventh year with Pittsburgh, Bob Lilley's decorated head coaching resume includes 357 wins at the professional level, the most of any active coach in U.S. Soccer. Lilley also has a 106W-42L-55D record in his six years leading the Riverhounds, giving him the most wins and best winning percentage in club history. Overall, Lilley has been named Coach of the Year five times in the USL Championship and its predecessor leagues. Lilley has led his teams to winning seasons and a postseason berth every year he has been a head coach, including the last six years with Pittsburgh, the longest streak in club history. Lilley led Pittsburgh to its first-ever Players' Shield last season with a 19W-5L-10D record. The record-setting season also included a quarterfinal run in the U.S. Open Cup that saw Pittsburgh knock off a pair of MLS teams. Although Pittsburgh's season is off to a slower start this year, Lilley has been around the block more than once. He has never finished a season with a losing record as a head coach, and his 23 years of experience will help him lead his team on another tough road trip this weekend.

Rhode Island FC - Khano Smith

Another experienced leader at the USL Championship level, RIFC Head Coach and General Manager Khano Smith is building his own legacy in the Ocean State. Coming off the first-ever clean sheet in club history against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, Smith has the opportunity to build on much-needed defensive momentum against a Pittsburgh team who are also in search of its first victory. With the first-ever victory in club history at stake, look for Smith to use his personnel, tactics and weight of the crowd to shift the momentum back to Rhode Island FC.


Limited tickets remain for Rhode Island FC's third home match of the season when the club hosts 2023 Players' Shield winners Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. Fans hoping to not miss out on Rhode Island FC's next home match are encouraged to act quickly by securing their seats at The complete 2024 USL Championship season schedule is available at

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