Riverhounds (5-1-1) at Louisville City FC (5-0-3)
Date: Saturday, April 30
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lynn Family Stadium, Louisville, Ky.
Odds: Hounds +295 / Draw +265 / Louisville -141 (BetRivers)
TV: 22 The Point
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtag: #LOUvPIT
(April 30, 2022) — The top two teams in the Eastern Conference will meet for the first time in 2022 when Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC goes on the road to face Louisville City FC at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Ky.
It is a renewal of acquaintances for the two clubs, who did not meet in 2021 because of the divisional alignment a season ago. That was the first time since Louisville joined the league in 2015 the teams did not play at least twice during a year, which they will do this year with today’s game and the return match in Pittsburgh on Sept. 10.
Unusually, history favors the road team in this series. The visitors are 9-2-4 in 15 previous meetings, which includes a 4-2-1 for the Hounds in the Derby City. The teams have met twice at Lynn Family Stadium, both in 2020. The Hounds won the first-ever match there, 3-1, but Louisville exacted a measure of revenge by knocking the Hounds of the playoffs, 2-0.
While the Run for the Roses isn’t until next week in Louisville, the Hounds’ horses up front have been running wild through the first two months of the season. Dane Kelly shares the USL Championship lead with six goals, and Albert Dikwa is just behind him with four. Together, they are the highest scoring pair of players in the league at 10, and that doesn’t even factor in 2021 top scorer Russell Cicerone, who picked up his second goal of the year last Saturday against Atlanta.
In perhaps a bit of a role reversal, the Hounds’ offense is best in the league on a goals-per-game basis, while Louisville has made its way to the top spot with the league’s stingiest defense at just four goals allowed in eight games. That includes a league-best five clean sheets for former Hounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton, who has started every game for Louisville since coming over in the offseason from the Houston Dynamo of MLS.
The two teams already have an idea of how they stack up this year after having played out a 1-1 draw in Pittsburgh during the preseason on Feb. 26, when an early goal by City’s top scorer Wilson Harris was negated by an Alex Dixon penalty kick. But that game, with its unlimited substitutions, should have little bearing on the first regular-season meeting in more than 21 months between the only two teams to reach the Eastern Conference playoffs in all of the past five seasons.
The game will be shown locally in the Pittsburgh market on 22 The Point, and it will be streamed via ESPN+. It is only this second USL match this season in which the Hounds have been a betting underdog; the first was the season opener in Memphis won by the Hounds, 3-0.