Preview: Riverhounds SC at Charlotte Independence
PITTSBURGH - After a road-heavy early portion of the schedule, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC makes one of its final road trips of the regular season to face the Charlotte Independence for a fourth and final time, 7 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The match will be shown on 22 The Point and on ESPN+.
The Hounds (14-6-5) visit only one other city the rest of the season - both of their road games over the final six weeks are in Miami - but this second trip to the Queen City is one of high importance for both teams.
As has been the story for at least six weeks, the Hounds are trying to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Rowdies atop the Atlantic Division, as neither team has lost in more than a month. Fourth-place Charlotte (10-8-4), on the other hand, has carved out a little separation ahead of Charleston and Hartford, and the Independence wants points to help grow that margin.
History has not been kind to the Hounds against Charlotte. The team's 1-0 win on July 3 this season was its first in 13 tries against the Independence, and the Hounds are still 1-8-5 all-time against Saturday's opponent, including an 0-5-2 mark on the road.
The last meeting between the teams was the fourth consecutive 1-0 match between the clubs, as Enzo Martinez's goal gave the Independence the win in the first game between the clubs at Legion Memorial Stadium. That rainy night loss was the Hounds' most recent defeat, as the team has gone 4-0-2 in six matches since then.
No new injuries have arisen for the Hounds, and defender Jalen Robinson returned to full participation in training this week, giving coach Bob Lilley a nearly full compliment of players. But with a full week off between matches for the second time in a row, expect to see most of the Hounds' regulars in the starting lineup, including captain Kenardo Forbes, who is coming off a Team of the Week selection for his two-goal game in the 5-0 rout of Loudoun.
Charlotte, meanwhile, comes in as winners of two in a row against Loudoun and Hartford, and the team has showed no let-down in the back since former Hounds goalkeeper Austin Pack took over in net for the injured Brandon Miller, going 4-1-2 in their last seven, which includes the win last month over Pittsburgh.
To see the Hounds' complete 2021 schedule, visit riverhounds.com/game-schedule.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: American Legion Memorial Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: 22 The Point
Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live Updates: Twitter at @RiverhoundsSC and #CLTvPIT
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