Preview: Nashville SC Faces Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC with Playoff Seeding on the Line
NASHVILLE - After securing a thrilling last-second win over Birmingham Legion FC, Nashville SC will now face Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in a pivotal clash that could have serious playoff implications. Sitting in third place, Nashville SC could put some distance between it and fifth-place Pittsburgh and take major strides towards securing a top-four spot in the standings and a guaranteed home playoff match.
How to Follow
Local Television: MyTV30 with John Freeman and Susannah Collins Digital Stream: ESPN+ English Radio: ESPN 94.9 Game 2 with Wes Boling Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7 with Alexis Martinez and Manfred Villalobos Social Media: @NashvilleSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
Last Time Out
Nashville SC beat Birmingham Legion FC 1-0 thanks to yet another stoppage time winner. The match was a cagey back-and-forth affair throughout much of the night, but Nashville SC pressed hard near the end. Chances by Ropapa Mensah and Matt LaGrassa narrowly missed the target. In stoppage time, Jimmy Ockford rose up for a header at the back post off of a corner kick and saw his ball get deflected into the back of the net for the winning goal.
Scouting Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 51 points, just three behind Nashville SC in third place. Under Head Coach Bob Lilley, Pittsburgh has been a stingy defensive side. This season, the Riverhounds have allowed the fourth-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh has done particularly well at home, going 9-0-6 at Highmark Stadium while going 5-4-3 on the road. Neco Brett and Steevan Dos Santos have been the leaders for the club on offense, scoring 10 and nine goals, respectively.
Storylines to Watch
This match could have serious implications in the race for the top of the Eastern Conference. A Nashville SC win would put it six points clear of Pittsburgh with just four matches remaining, while a Pittsburgh win would perpetuate a logjam of teams seeking a spot in the top four of the conference. Under the new USL Championship Playoffs format, the top four clubs are guaranteed to host at least one playoff match.
Return of Ryan James
Saturday's match will see the return of former Nashville SC defender and current Riverhound Ryan James to Music City. James played in 16 matches for Nashville SC during its inaugural season in 2018, starting in 11 matches. He had 30 clearances and 32 interceptions during that span. James was also active in the Nashville community, participating in events such as a youth soccer clinic on the 4th of July last season.
Fans can take advantage of fan-friendly pricing on several concession items for the final matches of the season at First Tennessee Park. Tickets start at just $11 for Saturday's match, and fans will be able to purchase $2 32oz. souvenir sodas, as well as $5 draft beer. The club will also have merchandise Grab Bags for sale. The two versions of the bags, valued at $50 and $75 are available for $25 and $40, respectively.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 19, 2019
- Match Preview at Austin Bold FC - Las Vegas Lights FC
- Preview: Nashville SC Faces Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC with Playoff Seeding on the Line - Nashville SC
- Tacoma Defiance Defender Denso Ulysse Called into Haitian U-23 National Team - Tacoma Defiance
- Loudoun United Fall to Bethlehem Steel 5-2 on the Road - Loudoun United FC
- Game Notes: Tacoma Defiance at Portland Timbers 2 - September 20, 2019 - Tacoma Defiance
- San Antonio FC Travels to Face LA Galaxy II as Playoff Push Continues - San Antonio FC
- Match Preview: Legion FC V. Indy Eleven - Friday, September 20 - Birmingham Legion FC
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- STLFC Academy Kyle Genenbacher Called into USMNT U16 Talent ID Camp - Saint Louis FC
- Steel battle back from a one-goal deficit, twice, to beat Loudoun United FC - Philadelphia Union II
- Los Zorros Thrash Toros, 5-0, for Largest Win in Club History - Fresno FC
- Toros Fall 5-0 to Strong Fresno FC - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
- STLFC Wins Fifth in a Row with 2-0 Win over New York Red Bulls II - Saint Louis FC
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