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What2Watch4: 2017 Schedule

By Anthony Picardi, 02/08/17, 10:15AM EST

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In their first-full season under head coach Dave Brandt, the Riverhounds are slated for a 32-game schedule that features 16 tilts at Highmark Stadium. As the Hounds look to build off of last year, here is the road ahead for the 2017 season.

A showdown in the season opener 

The Hounds commence the season with a home tilt against the defending champion New York Red Bulls II on March 25. The Pittsburgh defense will try to slow down a Red Bulls attack that led the USL with 61 goals last year.

Taking back the Cup

The battle for the Keystone Derby Cup presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery and K&L Gates starts on April 29, when the Harrisburg City Islanders visit Highmark Stadium. The in-state rivals play out the remainder of the series in Harrisburg on May 24 and Aug. 12. The Hounds fell just short of the cup last year, tallying a 0-1-2 record against the City Islanders.

Say it ain’t so, same conference, new foes

The USL welcomes two new teams, Ottawa Fury FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, to the Eastern Conference for the 2017 season. For their inaugural game, the Hounds will visit Ottawa on May 13. The Rowdies will take their first shot against the Hounds on June 22 in Pittsburgh. The tilt against Tampa presents some high stakes in particular, as it will be the first meeting between the two clubs since the third round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Played at Highmark Stadium, the Hounds prevailed 1-0 thanks to a Rob Vincent tally in stoppage time.

A journey of 2,000 miles

From July 8-22, Pittsburgh grabs its travel bags for its longest road stretch of the season. The Hounds will tangle with Orlando City B on July 8, Bethlehem Steel FC on July 15 and the Rochester Rhinos on July 22. The Black and Gold will trek more than 2,000 miles during this extended road trip.

A final stand

To cap off the regular season, the Hounds return to Highmark Stadium for an October homestand. Pittsburgh will clash with Rochester Rhinos on Oct. 7 before battling Eastern Conference newcomer Ottawa Fury FC in the season finale on Oct. 14.

To view the entire 2017 Riverhounds schedule, click here.