Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Game Day: Hounds vs. Louisville City FC

June 30, 2023 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC News Release

PITTSBURGH - A playoff rematch is on tap Saturday, when the East-leading Hounds host reigning Eastern Conference champion Louisville City FC for the first time this season in a 7 p.m. match at Highmark Stadium.

Louisville outlasted the Hounds in last year's conference semifinals, advancing 5-3 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw, and close matches have been the norm between the two sides since Bob Lilley took over the Hounds in 2018. The Hounds are 3-1-3 in regular-season matches against Louisville and 3-3-4 in all matches since the start of 2018, and they are the only two USL Championship teams to qualify for the postseason every year in that time frame.

The Hounds aim to keep their impeccable Highmark record rolling this season, as they seek a 10th consecutive win in all competitions on home turf and to build on a 6-0-1 home record in USL Championship play. Tola Showunmi has scored in his last two home matches for the Hounds with top scorer Albert Dikwa (clavicle) still out but nearing his return, and the Hounds will soon receive a boost in midfield with Robbie Mertz (foot) returning to a full training schedule this week.

Though the team's impressive run of 405 minutes without conceding a league goal was snapped last week in the 2-1 win over San Diego, defense has remained the team's calling card with just 12 goals allowed all season. The team's rotation among the three center backs continued in the last match, and it paid off late when the fresher legs of Illal Osumanu had enough spring in them to elevate for the game-winning header in his first start since April. Osumanu, Arturo Ordóñez and Mike DeShields were last week's trio, but expect at least one of Joe Farrell or Pat Hogan to be right back in the mix for this week's 11.

Louisville, meanwhile, has had an up-and-down season, but still with more good than bad to lay claim to fifth in the East. Though their goal scoring hasn't been consistent, they still possess threatening players in leading scorer Wilson Harris and dynamic forward Enoch Mushagalusa, who netted the game winner in Lou City's last match against Las Vegas.

The visitors also seem to have found a goalkeeper of the future in first-year pro Oliver Semmle, a former college teammate of Hounds defender Nate Dossantos at Marshall. But Saturday's game won't be a return for two former Hounds, as both goalkeeper Kyle Morton and forward Brian Ownby were listed as out in Louisville's Thursday injury report.

Fans at Highmark Stadium will be able to get into the Independence Day spirit a little early, as $1 specials on both hot dogs and 12-ounce I.C. Light cans will be in effect until kickoff. The Tailgate Zone will open at 5 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets for the match are available through Ticketmaster and at the Highmark Stadium Box Office.

As is the case for six of the team's seven July matches, Pittsburgh's CW will carry all the action live on their airwaves and streamed on the KDKA/CW website. The game also will be streamed live via ESPN+.

Match info

Riverhounds (8-2-6) vs. Louisville City FC (7-4-4)

Date: Saturday, July 1

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Highmark Stadium

Tickets: Ticketmaster

Odds: Hounds -105 / Draw +230 / Louisville +260 (FanDuel)

TV: Pittsburgh's CW

Streaming: ESPN+ (national), Pittsburgh's CW (local)

Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center

Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter

Match hashtags: #PITvLOU and #HOUNDTAHN

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