Hounds Notebook: Despite ‘untamed’ itinerary, Lilley’s focused on going downhill and taking more wins

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

This week, Riverhounds SC coach Bob Lilley was revealed to be the winning USL coach ever, with the most regular season wins since the start of the league’s modern era in 2011.

So what will he do next?

“We’re about to go on a road trip,” Lily said. Pittsburgh Football Now Thursday.

That’s right, for the first time in club history, the undefeated Pittsburgh Riverhounds will head to Las Vegas, Nevada for a duel (PST) Saturday afternoon in the desert with the Las Vegas Lights. (The kick-off will be at 7 PM EST.)

The Hounds will travel Friday to Vegas, then stay there until Sunday, then take a red-eye to Pittsburgh on Sunday evening/Monday morning, where they will have to turn around, get back on the bus, and head to Cincinnati before the US Cup Open game on Tuesday.

Lilly does everything in his power to make sure his team stays focused on the tasks at hand, despite the distractions that come with being in the City of Lights and a tight travel schedule with a quick turnaround for a Major League Soccer team on the road.

“How we do in the first game, it can really affect the whole week,” Lilly explained. “We have to judge the ground. The staff, the players, all of us. It’s an important week for us. Anytime you can start the week with a good result, it will help you. We will do our best forward over the weekend and hopefully we can go to Cincinnati with some momentum.” .

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

“They can stick the coins in a few slots for whatever I care about,” Lilly said.

“After the game (on Saturday), I want us to focus on the match on Tuesday. As long as everything stays on schedule, we get on time and I’m sure they will be called and they will be ready for the next game. We will have to do some recovery Sunday morning but The players will have some extra time on their hands while we are there.”

Lilley heads the all-time coaching winners list for the USL

This year’s edition of Riverhounds SC features the league’s top scorer (Dane Kelly) and assist maker (Kenardo Forbes).

Now, they can also brag about winning the USL Championship regular season winning coach.

Longtime contemporary Lily has overtaken Mike Anhaeuser at the top of the list.

“It’s nice to be recognized. You’ve been with good organisations. The players are really responsible for all these wins,” Lilly said.

Veteran coach, who set the overall record 317-149-130 with Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Detroit Ignition (indoor), Rochester Rhinos and Riverhounds. He was named Coach of the Year five times, won the USL Championships with Whitecaps (2006) and Rhinos (2015), and qualified his team to the playoffs in all 21 seasons.

The current recognition extends from the league during Lilly’s tenure with the Rochester Rhinos (2011, 2014-17) and the Riverhounds (2018 to date), and Lilly has now set a regular season record of 132-52-78 in the championship, adding to his tally. Previous success in Major League One and Division One with Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and Rhinos.

Lilly noted that he has had “more wins on the other side” than his time in the current USL, acknowledging his years coaching in the second division before the current USL version of the past decade is a plus.

“I started coaching in 1997. I coached players who scored more than 100 goals. I had over 97 wins to 11 (20) goals,” Lilly explained.

“There were so many great players and teams. It almost looks like it has been wiped out. It’s weird to me.”

Most Chiefs Coaching Victories in USL History

1. Bob Lilly – 132 (Republic of China 2011, 2014-17, PIT 2018-present)
2. Mike Anheuser-130 (CPS 2011-21)
3. John Wolinick – 88 (New York 2015-21)
4. Lee Colichau – 85 (RIC 2011-18)
5. Mike Jeffries – 81 (CLT 2015-18, 2019-21)
6. Rick Shantz – 78 (PHX 2017, 2018-present)

Dekwa’s impressive early season production was no surprise

For the first time all season, it was founded by Lily Albert Dequa and Dane Kelly, and the results are amazing.

Dequa scored twice, earned an assist, and was named USL Player of the Week to help lead the Hounds to a 4-3 victory in Tulsa on Saturday. Kelly was in the higher forward point, and he also added a goal.

This is the kind of production Lilly envisioned when he first signed on to Dikwa in 2020.

“He did not reach the end of the (2020) season, with only six matches remaining,” Lilly said. “Last year, he didn’t have a chance to get a full season, but he was really good for us. Unfortunately, he had an injury that put him back in. He is really hardworking with his physique. He is very competitive.”

So far, Dikwa and Kelly are tied for the top spot with four goals each.

Lilly is planning a big round for the team

With three games in an eight-day span, including the Hounds going home the following Saturday when they face a team well-rested at Atlanta United 2, Lilly has been preparing and anticipating that since he put his roster together.

On Thursday, he said he is putting the final touches on what he expects to implement over the next three matches.

“We’ll use rotations, all three matches. Part of that is we have to be ready to use our depth,” Lilly said.

The Hounds implemented different starting lineups in each game, with 20 different starting players and three goalkeepers each getting the excitement so far in 2022.

“Some of the thought process before this stretch is to get everyone ready,” Lilly added. “That’s what we’ve done so far this year. Fortunately, we’ve been mostly healthy, and that has helped.

Find more coverage of the Hounds’ upcoming games on the road on Pittsburgh Soccer Now over the weekend including live, on-site coverage from Cincinnati next week. We’ll have more details to share soon!

John Kreczynski has covered football and other sports for many years for numerous publications and media. He is also the author of ‘Miracle on the Mon’ – a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, chronicling the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to a great game centered around it that helped provide a spark. for the sake of excellence. John has covered sports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, and Pittsburgh Sports Report, served as a color commentator for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcast, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for the US Open and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Kreczynski also served as a men’s soccer coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first seasons and all-time winning berths (1996-1998); Head Coach for Northern Catholic Boys (2007 – 2008), Assistant Head Coach for Shady Side Boys Academy (2009-2014).

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