July 30, 2022 – United Soccer League Championship (USL) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC News Release
PITTSBURGH – The Hounds will look to complete an undefeated month of July and extend their run without a loss to a season-best six matches when they host FC Tulsa at 7 p.m. tonight at Highmark Stadium.
It is the second meeting of the year between the two teams. The Hounds won the first-ever battle between the clubs on April 9 in Oklahoma, when they got two goals and an assist from that week’s Player of the Week, Albert Dikwa, but had to hold off a late rally by the hosts for a 4-3 victory.
For the Hounds, every point has been crucial to remain within six points of the Eastern Conference lead, as front-runners Louisville and surging second-place Tampa Bay are both on long unbeaten runs of their own. Securing a result against Tulsa will give the Hounds their first unbeaten full month since last July – no small achievement – but three points are a must if the Hounds are to close in on the leaders.
Though a clean sheet evaded the Hounds in last week’s 2-1 win, courtesy of a wonder strike by Hartford’s Conor McGlynn, that was the only shot of the game by the hosts, who were held to a moribund 0.02 xG (expected goals) according to the USL Championship’s advanced stats. That – on the road, no less – was by far the Hounds’ best defensive performance of the season, a credit to the full team’s defending led by the center back trio of Arturo Ordóñez, Mekeil Williams and game-winning goal scorer Shane Wiedt.
Tulsa comes to town packing a bit more firepower, though their personnel was shaken up this week after trading away leading goal scorer JJ Williams and adding attacking midfielder Marcus Epps from Phoenix. The team still has quality finishing, led by the seven goals of Rodrigo da Costa, and former Hounds midfielder Lebo Moloto found the net last week in a big 2-0 win at Birmingham.
That win last week kept Tulsa six points behind seventh-place Miami and still in reach of the playoff bubble. Today’s visitors have stayed in the hunt by going 3-3-1 since Jamaican goalkeeping legend Donovan Ricketts became interim manager on June 17, and all three of those losses came against teams at or near the top of the league – Memphis, San Antonio and New Mexico.
It will be the Hounds’ first home game in 21 days, and there will be plenty of fun to be had on Kids Night at Highmark Stadium with Millie’s Ice Cream, visits from superheroes and Disney princesses, and tons of other engaging activities for our youngest fans. Kids Night is presented by the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
There’s plenty for older fans, too, as special gameday presenting partner PA Lottery will have free Fast Play coupons for the first 2,500 fans ages 18 or older. The Tailgate Zone will open at 5 p.m. with food trucks from Revival Chili and The Sandwich Guy, music by DJ TJ Harris, and refreshments including Hounds Amber Lager by Straub and selections from our newest local partner, Narcisi Winery.
Tickets for the match are limited but still available through Ticketmaster and at the Highmark Stadium Box Office. The game will be shown on 22 The Point and streamed via ESPN+.
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