Riverhounds (15-8-7) vs. Orange County SC (7-13-10)
Date: Saturday, September 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium
Odds: Hounds -210 / Draw +330 / Orange County +440 (FanDuel)
TV: 22 The Point
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #PITvOC and #HOUNDTAHN
PITTSBURGH (Sept. 24, 2022) — With the Eastern Conference playoff field set in the USL Championship, seeding and home field advantage is on the line for the Hounds and the six other qualifiers for next month’s postseason.
The Hounds begin an unusual closing stretch — four straight games against Western Conference foes — tonight at Highmark Stadium when they host reigning title holders Orange County SC for the first time since 2014 on Hispanic Heritage Night. Back then, the Hounds got the best of the team known as the O.C. Blues (and prior to that, the Los Angeles Blues) when Mike Green scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. That is the only head-to-head win in six meetings for the Hounds, but they will be striving to get their second by ending a streak of three straight home draws, the most recent being a 0-0 affair with East-leading Louisville.
After Tampa Bay and Birmingham played out a 1-1 draw Friday night, the Hounds can move into a three-way tie for third at 55 points with three games to play. At the other end of the standings, Orange County got bad news last night when Rio Grande Valley defeated Charleston, 3-0, making tonight’s game a must-win or else the defending champs will be eliminated.
The Hounds are at full strength everywhere except the back line. The team is without Jelani Peters after he was sent off late against Birmingham, Jesse Williams, who is away on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago, exacerbating for one game the loss of Nate Dossantos to knee surgery. On the other side, Orange County is without their captain, Michael Orozco, who was also sent off in his team’s last match.
The offensive end has been the better one for the visitors, with Milan Iloski leading the USL Championship with 20 goals this season. With four assists, as well, Iloski has been involved in 24 of Orange County’s 43 goals on the season. But the visitors from Irvine, Calif., have only shut out three opponents this season, so the Hounds should be keen to create chances of their own.
As part of Hispanic Heritage Night, presented by La Mega Media and Brochachos Salsa, the team will recognize our players with Hispanic roots, who were born in or have roots from such diverse locations as Colombia, Spain, Peru, Honduras, Ecuador and Mexico. Latin-inspired music will be on the playlist, and other events are in store to celebrate our Spanish-speaking community in Pittsburgh.
The Tailgate Zone will open at 5 p.m. once again, with live music from the Gavas Beat Latin Band and a DJ from La Mega’s 92.9 FM. Food will be available from La Palapa and El Rincon Oaxaqueño, and Brochachos will be offering a tasting of their three unique salsa varieties.