Riverhounds (1-0-0) vs. Hartford Athletic (0-0-0)
Date: Saturday, March 19
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium
Odds: Hounds -215 / Draw +295 / Hartford +410 (BetRivers.com)
TV: 22 The Point
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtag: #PITvHFD
PITTSBURGH (March 19, 2022) — The 10th season at Highmark Stadium gets under way tonight when Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC hosts frequent foe Hartford Athletic at 7 p.m.
This will be the 10th meeting between the two teams since Hartford joined the USL Championship in the 2019 season, and the series has been largely in the Hounds’ favor with a 6-1-2 record. Hartford’s lone win, however, came at Highmark Stadium in the penultimate week of the 2020 season, allowing the Connecticut side to edge out the Hounds for the division title.
While the Hounds got things going this season with a 3-0 win at Memphis 901 FC — a win that included new Hounds forward Dane Kelly scoring his 100th USL Championship goal — the Hounds were outpossessed and outshot, leaving clear areas for improvement. Hartford was the lone team left out on the opening weekend of the 27-team Championship schedule, so there is a bit of mystery as to how a team playing a late season opener will line up.
One player who should be locked into the Hartford lineup is playmaker Danny Barrera, the USL Championship’s assists leader in 2021. Barrera’s big season a year ago put him on 44 career assists, one behind the career record of 45 held by Hounds captain Kenardo Forbes, creating what should be a top-class midfield matchup.
After winning in Memphis, which was just the second time in five seasons under Bob Lilley the Hounds opened with a win, the Hounds could open the season with consecutive victories for the second time in 23 seasons of play. The only other year they accomplished the feat was after Lilley’s other season-opening win in 2020, when the team won road games at Louisville and Philadelphia to start the season.
Tickets for the match are still available via Ticketmaster or at the Highmark Stadium Box Office, and there is plenty going on for Opening Night at the park.
The popular Tailgate Zone returns before the game in the West Lot, where there will be live music from TJ the DJ, beer on tap — including Riverhounds Amber Lager by Straub — and food truck offerings from Los Gingos Tacos and Revival Chili. The Tailgate Zone opens two hours before kickoff and runs through the end of halftime, and it is free to visit for all ticketed fans.
At halftime of the match, the Hounds will be honoring the WPIAL high school soccer champions crowned last fall at Highmark Stadium, while a short ceremony and highlight video commemorating Kelly’s 100th goal also is scheduled.
The game will be televised locally on 22 The Point and streamed via ESPN+. The temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the mid-50s, but no rain is in the forecast for a cloudy afternoon or evening.