Hounds Notebook: Despite a “wild” travel itinerary, Lilley focused on fastening and delivering more victories


Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

This week, Riverhounds SC head coach Bob Lilley proved to be the historically winning coach of the USL Championship with the highest number of victories in the regular season since the start of the modern era of the league in 2011.

So what will he do next?

“We’re going on a wild trip,” Lilley said Pittsburgh Soccer Now on Thursday.

That’s right, the undefeated Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC will head to Las Vegas, Nevada for the first time in club history for a late (Pacific time) Saturday duel in the desert with the Las Vegas Lights. (Excavation will be at 19:00 EDT).

The Hounds travel to Vegas on Friday, then stay there until Sunday, then return to Pittsburgh on Sunday night / Monday morning, where they will have to turn around, get back on the bus, and then head to Cincinnati before Tuesday’s US Open.

Lilley does everything in his power to ensure that his team stays focused on the tasks ahead, despite the distractions that come with staying in the City of Lights and a busy schedule with a quick turnaround so he can play against Major League Soccer on the road. .

“How we’re doing in the first game can really affect the whole week,” Lilley explained. “We have to buckle up.” Staff, players, all of us. It’s an important week for us. Whenever you can start a week with a good result, it will help you. We will do everything in our power over the weekend and we hope to go to Cincinnati with some momentum. “

Coach Hounds also added that the team will stay in Las Vegas on Saturday night and will have some extra time on Sunday.

“They could put coins in several slots, which would interest me,” Lilley said.

“After the match (Saturday) I want us to focus on Tuesday’s match. If everything goes according to plan, we will arrive on time, I’m sure they will be dialed and ready for the next match. We’ll have to recover a bit on Sunday morning, but while we’re there, the guys will have some extra time. “

Lilley keeps a list of all the victories in the USL Championship coaching

This year’s edition of Riverhounds SC features the league’s top scorer (Dane Kelly) and all-time player (Kenardo Forbes).

Now they can also boast the best coach in the basic part of the USL Championship.

Lilley overtook longtime contemporary Mike Anhaeuser to number one on the list.

“It’s nice to be recognized.” I was in good organizations. The players are the ones who are really responsible for all those victories, “said Lilley.

An experienced coach who has an overall record of 317-149-130 with the Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Detroit Ignition (in the lobby), Rochester Rhinos and Riverhounds. He is the five-time Coach of the Year winner, winning the USL Championships with Whitecaps (2006) and Rhinos (2015) and qualifying his team for the playoffs in all 21 seasons.

Current league recognition includes Lilley’s time in Rochester Rhinos (2011, 2014-17) and Riverhounds SC (2018-present). previous success in the USL A-League and First Division with the Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and Rhinos.

Lilley pointed out that he has “more wins on the other side” of his time in the current USL Championship, appreciating the years of training in the second division ahead of the current version of the USL Championship last decade. plus.

“I started training in 1997. I coached boys who scored more than 100 goals. I have more victories from 1997 to (20) 11, “Lilley explained.

“There were a lot of great players and teams. It almost seems to have been erased. I’m weird. “

The most head coach wins in USL championship history

1. Bob Lilley – 132 (ROC 2011, 2014-17, PIT 2018 – present)
2. Mike Anhaeuser – 130 (CHS 2011-21)
3. John Wolyniec-88 (NY 2015-21)
4. Leigh Cowlishaw – 85 (RIC 2011-18)
5. Mike Jeffries – 81 (CLT 2015-18, 2019-21)
6. Rick Schantz – 78 (PHX 2017, 2018 – present)

Dikwa’s impressive morning production is no surprise

Albert Dikwa and Dane Kelly started Lilley for the first time in a season and the results were impressive.

Dikwa scored twice, assisted and was named USL Championship Player of the Week to help lead the Hounds to Saturday’s 4: 3 win at Tulsa. Kelly was higher in front, he also scored a goal.

This is the type of production Lilley envisioned when he first signed Dikwa in 2020.

“He didn’t come until the end of the season (2020), he only had six matches left,” said Lilley. “Last year did not have a chance to win the whole season, but it was extremely good for us. Unfortunately, he had an injury that put him back. With his condition he is really hardworking. He is very competitive. “

Dikwa and Kelly are still undecided on the team with four goals.

Lilley is planning a significant team rotation

With three games over eight days, including Hounds returning home the following Saturday, facing a well-rested Atlanta United 2 team, Lilley prepared for it and expected it from the time he made the roster.

He said on Thursday that he is making the final adjustments to what he expects will work in the next three matches.

“We will use rotation, all three matches. Part of that is that we have to be prepared to take advantage of our depth, ”said Lilley. “If you don’t use it, you won’t be ready.”

The Hounds have exhausted various starting teams in each match, with 20 different starters and three goalkeepers in action in 2022.

“Some thought process before this section is to prepare everyone,” Lilley added. “That’s what we’ve done so far this year.” Fortunately, we were mostly healthy and that helped.

Check out more news on upcoming Hounds road games at Pittsburgh Soccer Now over the weekend and including live on-site news from Cincinnati next week. We will publish more details soon!




John Krysinsky for many years covered football and other sports for various publications and media. He is also the author of “Miracle on the Mon” – a book about Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which records the club, especially the first years of the Highmark Stadium, with a story leading to a remarkable match and centered around it, which helped give a spark. for franchise. John covered sports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, served as a color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the United States. . Krysinský also worked as the head coach of men’s football at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the historically first winning seasons and playoffs (1996-98); head coach North Catholic boys (2007-08), head coach boys Shady Side Academy (2009-2014).

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