Riverhounds (15-7-7) vs. Birmingham Legion FC (15-8-6)
Date: Wednesday, September 14
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Protective Stadium, Birmingham, Ala.
Odds: Hounds +260 / Draw +250 / Birmingham -110 (FanDuel)
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #BHMvPIT and #HOUNDTAHN
(Sept. 14, 2022) — Either team can go a long way toward securing a home playoff game when the Hounds visit Birmingham Legion FC at 8 p.m. tonight at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.
The Hounds enter the game with a one point edge over the Legion for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and while a draw would maintain the status quo — including giving the Hounds the head-to-head tiebreaker — it also would open the door for Miami and/or Detroit to close the gap and make a late push at the top four themselves. That means both teams will be aiming to claim all three points in just the second meeting for the teams in Alabama.
The last time the Hounds played in Birmingham, it was at the Legion’s old home, BBVA Field, and it was a historic result. The Hounds were victorious, 1-0, on Oct. 20, 2019, and the win — courtesy of Mark Forrest‘s 90th-minute goal — secured the top spot in the Eastern Conference on the final day of the regular season.
This year’s meeting first between the teams was also a 1-0 Hounds win, as Danny Griffin netted the only goal in Pittsburgh on May 7. Griffin, the Hounds’ ironman at 78 straight USL matches, should be at the center of a full-strength Hounds lineup with 10 days for players to recover before their next contest.
Birmingham and the Hounds both played last Saturday; the Hounds drew 0-0 with first-place Louisville, while Birmingham fell on the road to Indy, 4-3. The Legion also have more than a week to recover, so their top lineup should be available, led by veteran Enzo Martinez. The Uruguayan midfielder is having a renaissance at 31 years old, leading the team with 12 goals and six assists this season.
The match will not be aired live on local TV, but fans will be able to stream it on ESPN+.