Riverhounds (14-7-5) vs. Charleston Battery (4-17-5)
Date: Wednesday, August 31
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium
Odds: Hounds -250 / Draw +360 / Charleston +500 (FanDuel)
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #PITvCHS and #HOUNDTAHN
PITTSBURGH (Aug. 31, 2022) — The month of August comes to a close with a renewal of the USL Championship’s oldest active rivalry, as the Hounds will host the Charleston Battery tonight at Highmark Stadium.
The game provides a chance for the Hounds to pull level in the Eastern Conference — both on points and games played — with fourth-place Birmingham Legion FC. It is also the third straight match for the Hounds against teams eliminated from the playoff hunt after a 2-2 draw with New York on Aug. 20 and a 2-1 win at Atlanta last Saturday.
The Hounds were beaten by the Battery in the year’s first meeting, 3-0 on June 11 in South Carolina, and they are 5-6-7 all-time in home games against Charleston. In total, this will be the 39th meeting between the two teams since the Hounds’ 1999 inception, making the Battery the Hounds’ fourth-most-frequent opponent — only Rochester (46), Harrisburg (45) and Richmond (40) have battled the Hounds more often.
The in-form man for the Hounds is striker Albert Dikwa, who put in a top-grade shift as the No. 9 with both goals and 22 of 25 passes completed in the victory at Atlanta. But with this being the midweek game in a compact three-match stretch, the Hounds might choose to keep legs fresh, and they certainly are able to among the forwards after neither Dane Kelly nor Russell Cicerone played over the weekend.
One player who has never been subject to squad rotation is midfielder Danny Griffin, who hit a minor milestone in Atlanta with his 75th consecutive league match since beginning his pro career with the Hounds. The last Hounds player to play every match in three consecutive seasons was defender Nathan Salsi from 2006-09 (the team did not play in the 2007 season), but those were all 20-game seasons as opposed to the 34-game slate Griffin is navigating in Year 3 with the team.
For Charleston, there’s no question the man to watch is Augustine Williams. The Sierra Leonean striker is fifth in the USL Championship scoring race with 13 goals, including a second-minute opening goal in the first meeting with the Hounds this season.
It will also be a return to Highmark Stadium for defender Preston Kilwien, who played last season for the Hounds, and Battery coach Conor Casey will also have some fitness-based lineup decisions with his team also on short rest — Charleston fell 3-0 at home against Detroit on Saturday.
In the stadium, it will be Faith Night, presented by 98.3 K-LOVE. After the match, select players and coaches will meet with fans at Section 101 to discuss their faith and how it has positively impacted their lives and career. There will also be the usual post-match autograph session on the field, presented as always by King Orthodontics of Wexford and Bridgeville.
The Tailgate Zone will open at 5 p.m. with food from Stunt Pig and Uncle Rick’s Smokehouse, refreshments including the Hounds Amber Lager from Straub and music by DJ TJ Harris. Gates will open at 6 p.m., and while there will be no live local broadcast for this match, the game can be streamed via ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m.