Riverhounds (15-9-9) vs. Oakland Roots SC (11-9-13)
Date: Saturday, October 15
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Highmark Stadium
Odds: Hounds -105 / Draw +260 / Oakland +230
TV: 22 The Point
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #PITvOAK and #HOUNDTAHN
PITTSBURGH (Oct. 13, 2022) — The Hounds close out the regular season at home with a first-ever meeting Saturday night against Oakland Roots SC — the seventh first-time foe the Hounds have faced this season.
The playoff picture for the Hounds is a simple one after Birmingham defeated Indy on Wednesday night to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. A Hounds win makes them the No. 5 seed and puts them on the road at Birmingham; a Hounds loss makes them the No. 6 seed and sends them to whichever side finishes third, either Tampa Bay or Memphis; and a Hounds draw leaves both possibilities open depending on the outcome of Detroit vs. Miami earlier in the day.
For Oakland in the Western Conference, the picture is simpler and more urgent. The Roots are in the playoffs with a win, but a draw or loss means they can be passed for the final spot if Las Vegas defeats Los Angeles in the night’s final game.
The Hounds will be shorthanded along the back line with starting center back Arturo Ordóñez serving a one-game suspension after being sent off late in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Sacramento. While it will serve to give Ordóñez only his third game off of the season to rest for the playoffs, it means coach Bob Lilley will have to adjust his lineup as the Hounds seek to enter the postseason on a high note.
On the attacking end, Kenardo Forbes got just his second goal of the season (and 16th with the Hounds) last match, and the playmaking midfielder remains in range to claim the USL Championship’s assists title this season. Forbes enters the game one assist off the league lead of 11, held by Detroit’s Antoine Hoppenot.
Oakland comes in with the Championship’s third-leading scorer, Óttar Magnús Karlsson, leading the lines. The Icelandic striker on loan from Italian club Venezia has 19 goals this season, three off the league lead. The Roots also enter the match in a good run of form with a 4-0-1 record over their past five matches, but only one of those wins — a 2-1 home victory over Birmingham — came against a team with a winning record.
With this being the final regular-season game at Highmark Stadium, it is also the Hounds’ annual Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Mike’s Beer Bar. During the match, there will be special Mike’s giveaways every 10 minutes, as well as a great selection of grand prizes, including a $250 Mike’s Beer Bar gift card, a stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a Hisense smart TV, a Narcisi Winery gift basket, a Hounds autographed jersey, a suite rental for a Hounds 2023 match and one pair of 2023 Hounds season tickets.
Before the match, the Tailgate Zone will have food from Benvenuti’s Pizza Factory and Uncle Rick’s Smokehouse and beverages on sale, as it transforms into the Family Fall Fest presented by Kidsburgh. Kids will be able to play games, meet their favorite superheroes and princesses, and win special kids’ prizes. The Tailgate Zone opens at 5 p.m., and gates open at 6 p.m., which will allow kids and grown-ups alike to “Kick or Treat” through Highmark Stadium from 6-6:30 with small treat giveaways at locations throughout the stadium.
The match itself will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be shown live on 22 The Point and streamed via ESPN+. Tickets for the game are still available through Ticketmaster and at the Highmark Stadium Box Office, in-person or by phone at (412) 865-GOAL.