Massive Predictions: Crew at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – U.S. Open Cup

Following a disappointing loss against rival FC Cincinnati on Saturday night, the Columbus Crew travel to face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. This comes after the Black & Gold defeated Loudoun United FC 5-1 in the Round of 32.

To get to the Round of 16, the Riverhounds beat MLS side New England Revolution 1-0 away from home with a 44th minute goal from Danny Griffin. Pittsburgh currently sits in fourth place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference.

The Riverhounds are led by striker Albert Dikwa who has nine goals in all competitions this season and midfielder Kenardo Forbes who has three assists in all competitions.

Can the Crew further the tea’s quest to win the U.S. Open Cup this year on the road against Pittsburgh? Our Massive Report staff gives their predictions below.

Grant Miller

A game that will feel closer than the score will reflect. Pittsburgh has a great coach, a talented team and plays at home on Wednesday. The test in front of Columbus will not be an easy one. Youthful optimism and organizational buy-in will pay off as this U.S. Open Cup and squad the Crew assembles finds confidence in purpose in a victory.

Columbus Crew 3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

Collin Johnson

An up-and-down two-week match begets another. I’m choosing to see the positives from last week’s matches and note that the Crew went on the road and really took the match to the team’s in-state rivals. Meanwhile, the match on Wednesday was about as easy as they come in MLS. The defense is still risky but the team is finally turning a corner and starting to vary up the chance creation.

Wednesday’s match in Pittsburgh should see the fringe starters and bench team that throttled Loudon United get another chance to impress. In front of what’s sure to be a raucous crowd, the young team will do just that. 

Columbus Crew 3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

Devin Weisbarth

Columbus is coming off a rivalry loss to FC Cincinnati on Saturday. I think the Black & Gold will get back on track before heading to Nashville SC on Sunday. With the youth expected to play a big role Wednesday, I fully expect a date with FC Cincinnati in the quarterfinal. 

Columbus Crew 3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

Patrick Murphy

The Crew has made it further in the Open Cup than the team typically does, so that’s a positive. The question now is can the Black & Gold reach the quarterfinal for the first time since 2010 when they made the final. That will require a bounce-back performance after a frustrating loss to FC Cincinnati on Saturday.

With another game on Sunday, the starting lineup will show how much Wilfried Nancy wants to put into the Open Cup. I expect it to be a rather rotated lineup, but Nancy continues to surprise. Four more wins and he could have a trophy in his first year in Columbus. That might mean something to Nancy.

It won’t be easy but I do think the Crew digs deep and outlasts the home side to set up another Hell Is Real Derby in Cincinnati in the next round.

Columbus Crew 2 Pittsburgh Riverounds 1

Drew McDaniel

I predicted the Crew would lose the team’s last Open Cup match and I’ll balance my pessimism with some optimism. Columbus travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Riverhouns. It will not be as easy as the match against Loudoun United. The Crew will continue its road US Open Cup travels without star players Cucho Hernandez or Lucas Zelarayan. Even without the star power, Columbus will win after trailing by a goal in the first half. Players like Mohamed Farsi, Isaiah Parente, Jacen Russel-Rowe and Sean Zawadzki will take their positive experience with Crew 2 last season and with the senior team this season and power the team to victory. The fruits of Crew 2 will shine through in this match showing its value to the first team.

Columbus Crew 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

Caleb Denorme

The Crew comes into this game off the back of a tough loss against rivals FC Cincinnati to a midweek clash with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the Open Cup. The busy schedule continues for the Black & Gold, but this game is winnable. I see Columbus taking care of business and moving on in the Open Cup before heading to Nashville SC for a weekend MLS battle.

Columbus Crew 3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

Adam Miller

The Crew travels down to Pittsburgh for a tough Open Cup match this Wednesday. Pittsburgh is third in the USL Championship Eastern Conference and unbeaten in the team’s last six matches including dispatching the New England Revolution in the last Open Cup round. The Crew will likely play a bit of a rotated squad in this match due to fixture congestion and the opportunity to get some players minutes. However, I don’t expect it to be as rotated as the previous round against Loudon United.

I expect Columbus to struggle a bit early on against a good opponent in a difficult atmosphere but ultimately pull through with two second half goals. Christian Ramirez and Jacen Russell-Rowe will each grab a goal on the way to the Open Cup quarterfinals. 

Columbus Crew 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0

Nathan Townsend

The Crew is on the road again in the Open Cup, facing USL Championship foe Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Last time out in this tournament, the Crew got an early goal and a red card that led to a runaway of a game. This time, it won’t be that easy as Pittsburgh has already dispatched the New England Revolution in the last round. The Crew will roll out a mix of reserves and starters and it’ll be Jacen Russell-Rowe who bags a brace and sends Columbus through to the quarterfinals.

Columbus Crew 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0

Ryan Schmitt

The Crew is in the Round of 16 of the Open Cup, which definitely means the competition is starting to get intense. A strong mix of starters and reserve players will surely be used by the Black & Gold for this game. I anticipate it being a close game, likely coming down to the last 20 minutes. Jimy Mendranda and Jace Russell-Rowe will have big parts in the game by contributing an assist and goal respectively.

Columbus Crew 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1

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