Preview: Riverhounds SC vs. Hartford Athletic
PITTSBURGH - Two teams with big aspirations for the postseason clash for the second time in 2021 when Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC hosts Hartford Athletic on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff, and it will be televised on 22 The Point (WPNT) and streamed via ESPN+.
The first time the two teams met was just the second match of the year for the Hounds (8-4-3), who nearly took all three points but had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Russell Cicerone gave the Hounds the lead in the earlier road game at Dillon Stadium, but Luka Prpa headed in a free kick for Hartford (7-3-2) in stoppage time after the Hounds were reduced to 10 men by the sending off of Kenardo Forbes.
Historically, the series has leaned Pittsburgh's way at 4-1-1, with the Hounds winning the first four meetings after Hartford joined the league in 2019. But Hartford was able to poach its first triumph in the series with a 1-0 win at Highmark Stadium in the penultimate match of 2020, which eventually gave Hartford the division crown over the Hounds.
The Hounds are riding a three match home win streak and have a mostly clean bill of health, with only defender Jordan Dover (questionable - lower body) and forward Josh Gatt (out - knee) on the injury report.
Cicerone, who has scored in the past two matches, has moved into the top five goal scorers in the USL Championship with his team-leading seven.
Hartford has the Championship assists leader in Danny Barrera, who has set up seven goals and also shares the team lead by scoring four of his own.
While the match shapes up to be important for playoff positioning, nothing will be settled this early in the season. The two teams meet twice more: August 28 in Hartford and in the season finale, Oct. 30 in Pittsburgh.
For tickets to Saturday's match, which includes access to the all-new Tailgate Zone outside of the West Gate, go to Ticketmaster or visit the Riverhounds Box Office.
Before the match, check out our 3 Things feature to see how the Hounds get back on the winning track. To see the complete 2021 schedule, visit riverhounds.com/game-schedule.
Date: Saturday, July 31
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pa.
TV: 22 The Point
Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live Updates: Twitter at @RiverhoundsSC and #PITvHFD
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