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 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Preview: Hounds vs. North Carolina FC

May 16, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC News Release

PITTSBURGH - The Hounds are back at home Saturday, and they will put a six-match unbeaten streak in USL Championship play on the line when they face North Carolina FC for the first time since 2019.

A furious second-half comeback to earn a 2-2 draw in Tulsa was, by their own admission, not the Hounds' cleanest outing. But goals by Danny Griffin and Kazaiah Sterling secured a point on the road and put the Hounds just two points out of the top four in the Eastern Conference.

Sterling now leads the Hounds with three goals and has scored in back-to-back league matches - he did not play in the team's U.S. Open Cup match - but the team is still trying to find consistent finishing with only nine goals through nine matches. He came off the bench in Tulsa with the Hounds opting for an extra midfielder in their 4-2-3-1 shape last weekend, and coach Bob Lilley will have his choice of how to set the team up this Saturday with a full week's rest between matches.

North Carolina also is looking for consistent finishing in their first year back in the Championship after three years and a 2023 title in USL League One. The team has 10 goals in its first 10 games back in the Championship and has yet to get a result on the road in three attempts, but they are coming off their second win of the season after beating Loudoun United FC, 2-0, on Tuesday night in Cary, N.C.

The visitors' top two scorers this season are a pair of former Hounds with two goals each - Louis Pérez and Ezra Armstrong - and they also have a dangerous veteran in Brazilian striker Rodrigo da Costa, who has scored against the Hounds as a member of both FC Tulsa and Memphis 901 FC.

While seemingly every other stadium played into a Star Wars theme over the past few weeks, Highmark Stadium is putting its own comic spin on the gimmick with its Spaceballs night, in honor of the classic 1987 Star Wars parody directed by Mel Brooks. The night kicks off this year's Celebrity Series with a guest from the film, as Michael Winslow - the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects - will be on hand to meet, greet and entertain fans.

Making an exclusive debut at Saturday's match will be cans of the Riverhounds Pale Ale, produced by Pittsburgh Brewing Company, the makers of Iron City and IC Light. Riverhounds Pale Ale can be found in the Tailgate Zone, at the pub, at portable beer stands and in the grab-and-go coolers inside Highmark Stadium.

The Tailgate Zone will open at 5 p.m. with the Bado's Pizza food truck on hand; the teriyaki-glazed Pineapple Express Burger will also be back at the grill near the East Gate; and Pizza Logs again will be sold in the pub, along with all the regular offerings throughout the stadium.

Saturday's match will be shown live on KDKA+, and a replay will air at 1 p.m. Sunday. The match will also be streamed locally on the KDKA website and across North America on ESPN+.

Tickets are still available for Saturday's contest. To purchase, visit Ticketmaster, contact the Highmark Stadium Box Office at 412-865-GOAL, or buy directly at the Box Office.

Match info

Riverhounds (3-3-3) vs. North Carolina FC (2-4-4)

Date: Saturday, May 18

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Highmark Stadium

Tickets: Ticketmaster

Odds: Not available


Streaming: ESPN+

Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center

Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter

Match hashtags: #PITvNC and #HOUNDTAHN

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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