Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Match Preview: Maryland Bobcats FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Published Apr 25, 2023

Written By Izzy Ponce.

Coming off a dominating 5-1 win against Club De Lyon this past Saturday in regular season play, the Bobcats are looking to continue their winning streak. The win propelled the Bobcats up the ranks, and the team currently sit at 2nd in the NISA standings. Their next test will be against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the third round of the US Open Cup on Tuesday, April 25th. The Bobcats advanced after their thrilling 3-2 win over the Ocean City Nor’Easters, in which defender Phillip Brown scored the winning goal in the second extra time period. 

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds play in the Eastern Conference of the USL Championship League, and have also started off their season strong. Their top scorer, Albert Dikwa, has scored 4 goals in his last 7 appearances, making him a key contributor to the Riverhound’s 5th place league standings. The last time the Bobcats faced off with the Riverhounds was in the second round of the 2022 Open Cup. The Bobcats certainly have something to prove, considering this last meeting ended in a 2-0 defeat that knocked them out of the tournament. On the other hand, the Riverhounds have a history of strong performances in this tournament, making it to the fourth round of the cup 4 times in the last 10 years. 

Head Coach Alex Kao plans to use the Bobcats in a strategic manner of facing against the Riverhounds. He believes this is exactly the stage that players will need to step up, and is confident they will be able to perform.

Coach Kao said “We feel pretty good and are very happy to advance. It was not easy to advance as we played an Ocean City team that was very prepared. Knowing our opponents, there is no better motivation than playing a team that is in a higher division than us and I know our guys will be ready and up to the task.”

In a game like this, teamwork is also of the essence. Coach Kao explained about the differences going in to this third round game.

 “We are a different team as are Pittsburgh Riverhounds. We are also playing them in the third round vs the second round. Last year we made individual mistakes and we worked really hard to clean up those mistakes that cost us the game last year.” Said Kao. “We are a new team this year. We have new players and staff while also keeping key players from last season. This is an open cup match and a lot can happen.”

The match will kick off at 7pm EST and will be streamed live on the Bleacher Report App and B/R Football’s YouTube Channel. Be sure to follow along with the match action on Twitter at @MDBobatsFC.