Riverhounds (3-0-1) vs. FC Tulsa (3-2-0)
Date: Saturday, April 9
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: ONEOK Field, Tulsa, Okla.
Odds: Hounds +163 / Draw +215 / Tulsa +143 (BetRivers.com)
TV: 22 The Point
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtag: #TULvPIT
PITTSBURGH (April 9, 2022) — The Hounds are aiming for their best five-match start to a league season in team history, but doing so will require getting a result in their first-ever meeting with FC Tulsa in a Saturday afternoon tilt in the Sooner State.
The club has never taken more than 10 points from its first five games in a season, so even a draw would cement this as the Hounds’ best five-game start, and only once before has the team been undefeated through five league matches — 2018 when the team started 2-0-3 in the first year under Bob Lilley.
The Hounds will have a full-strength lineup available after Tuesday’s 2-0 cup win over the Maryland Bobcats, as regulars including Kenardo Forbes, Dane Kelly, Shane Wiedt, Alex Dixon, Dani Rovira, Jelani Peters and — for the first time in his three-year career — Danny Griffin were out of the 18 or were unused as substitutes. Kelly has played just 30 minutes in the Hounds’ past three matches, but they were vital ones, as he scored his second and third goals of the young season to secure a 2-0 win over Loudoun United FC last Saturday.
Just like the Hounds, Tulsa was able to rest some players and still advance in a Tuesday cup match; they bested NPSL amateur side Tulsa Athletic, 2-1. That game came on the heels of an end-to-end win in Tulsa’s last league match, as they survived a challenge from 10-man New York Red Bulls II and came away with a 3-2 victory.
In joint top scorers J.J. Williams and Rodrigo da Costa, both with two goals each, Tulsa has quick and experienced attacking options, and behind them sits a familiar face to Hounds fans, midfielder Lebo Moloto, who had seven goals and eight assists while spending 2015-16 in Pittsburgh.
In addition to the potential for a record-setting start, the Hounds have their spot in second place in the Eastern Conference on the line with Tulsa just a point behind them in the standings. The match is also the start of what is now a three-game road stretch, as the Hounds travel to Las Vegas to play April 16, and they learned yesterday they will visit FC Cincinnati of MLS in their next cup match on April 19.
The game will be shown locally on 22 The Point, and it will be streamed on ESPN+.