Riverhounds coach 'disgusted' with effort in 3-1 loss to Richmond
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After another defeat, Riverhounds interim coach Niko Katic wasn't in the mood to mince words.
“No heart. No passion. No desire to win the balls. No desire to win the tackles,” Katic said. “There was no desire to play for this organization and no respect for themselves, let alone the game of soccer.”
That harsh assessment from Katic came minutes after the last-place Riverhounds allowed two goals in the first 11 minutes and finished with a 3-1 loss Sunday to Richmond at Highmark Stadium.
The Riverhounds (1-8-5) briefly looked to have a comeback in the works after an outstanding left-footed goal to start the second half by Jose Angulo, but that was little consolation to the Riverhounds or Katic after Richmond (8-1-6) quickly responded with a third goal to put the game away.
“There's people that would do anything to be in our shoes and play soccer. But they can't because these guys are taking their spots,” Katic said. “I'm disgusted by the effort, and everybody has to wake up. That's the way it goes.”
The Kickers had a 2-0 lead early in the match after a pair of miscues by the Riverhounds defense.
An errant pass backward by Rob Vincent sent Richmond on the break, and Matthew Delicâte drove a shot on goal from the left side. Riverhounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap made the initial save, but Shay Spitz was there to knock the rebound into the open right side of the net.
Miscommunication led to the second Richmond goal after Sascha Görres lofted the ball into the box from midfield. Riverhounds defender Brian Fekete and Gilstrap both went for the ball, which glanced off Fekete's head and into the net for an own goal.
A storm-induced 14-hour delay on the team's flight home from Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup match at the Chicago Fire could have contributed to the slow start, but asked after the match, players weren't using that to explain the team's poor start.
“The (hot) weather or being at the airport for 14 hours could have been a part of it, but there's no excuses,” Angulo said. “We've got to be stronger out of the gate and then finish the game off. That's something we've been lacking at all around, and hopefully, we can figure it out.”
Angulo cut the lead to 2-1 when he was given too much space by the Richmond defense. The reigning league MVP teed up a shot from 25 yards and drove the ball perfectly into the top right corner of the net.
“I think after that goal, we started believing, but we've still got to work on being more tight at the back,” Angulo said. “Every chance (for the other team) can't be a goal, and we're struggling right now. Goals will come for us. We just can't give up goals like that at home.”
The Riverhounds' comeback hopes took a fatal blow in the 68th minute, when Delicate got his head onto a cross from Henry Kalungi and placed a bouncing header into the right side of the net for the third Kickers' goal.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
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