Preview: Riverhounds SC vs. Hartford Athletic
PITTSBURGH - Leading Group F, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (8-3-1) hosts second-place Hartford Athletic (6-2-1) in a group showdown on Saturday, Sept. 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Highmark Stadium, and the match will be locally televised on 22 The Point.
With a win this Saturday against Hartford, Pittsburgh can clinch playoff berth. This scenario was made possible after New York Red Bulls II defeated Philadelphia Union II on Wednesday. If the Hounds were to defeat Hartford, it would mark the third straight season the club would advance to the USL Championship playoffs.
This will be the second match between these two clubs this season. They first met on Aug. 28 at Dillon Stadium, and the Hounds began their current three-game clean sheet streak with a 3-0 victory. With a tally in the 11th and 50th minutes, Ryan James recorded his first career multi-goal game. Danny Griffin added his second goal of the year in the 22nd minute. With this result, the Hounds gave Hartford its first and only shutout of the season thus far.
In the Hounds' last matchup, they beat Red Bulls II, 3-0, on Sept. 5 at Red Bull Arena. All three of these goals were scored by different players. Ropapa Mensah started the scoring with a chip over the goalkeeper in the closing minutes of the first half. The second goal came from an own goal, and Robbie Mertz put the finishing touches on the game with a goal in the 58th minute.
Hartford Athletic will also have a week between games. Their last result was a 2-1 victory against Loudoun United FC, improving their home record to 5-1-1. This Saturday will only be Hartford's third away game of the season, and its record on the road sits at 1-1-0.
After an undefeated week, two Hounds were named to USL Championship Team of the Week. Mertz was named to the team for a goal and four key passes in the Hounds' last two games. Goalkeeper Danny Vitiello was named to the Team of the Week bench after two clean sheets against Loudoun and New York. So far this season, Vitiello leads the club with a 0.50 goals-against average and .833 save percentage.
During the match this Saturday, fans can use the hashtag #HoundsAtHome and submit photos of themselves watching the Hounds taking on Hartford, which will be televised on 22 The Point. Be sure to tag the club's social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @RiverhoundsSC.
To view Riverhounds SC's complete regular season schedule, visit riverhounds.com/game-schedule.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 12
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA
Television: 22 The Point
Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live Updates: Twitter at @RiverhoundsSC and #PITvHFD
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