#5 Riverhounds (16-9-10) vs. #1 Louisville City FC (22-6-6)
Date: Saturday, October 29
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lynn Family Stadium, Louisville, Ky.
Odds (90 minutes): Hounds +400 / Draw +320 / Louisville -190 (FanDuel)
TV: 22 The Point
Live statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live updates: @RiverhoundsSC on Twitter
Match hashtags: #LOUvPIT, #HOUNDTAHN and #HuntAsOne
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2022) — For the third time in four seasons, the playoffs have brought together the Hounds with Louisville City FC, and a spot in the Eastern Conference Final is on the line Saturday night.
Louisville got the best of the Hounds as an underdog in 2019, stealing a 2-1 extra time win at Highmark Stadium, and they also came out 2-0 winners in 2020 when the teams met in the postseason at Lynn Family Stadium. This year, Louisville is the top seed in the East, but the Hounds have hopes of returning the favor from 2019 after having played a 0-0 draw with Louisville barely more than a month ago.
The Hounds are 3-1-3 in the regular season against Louisville under Bob Lilley, but while postseason success has eluded the Hounds in two tries, Lilley has taken down Louisville in the postseason. On the way to the 2015 USL title, his Rochester Rhinos team — one that featured current Hounds Alex Dixon and Kenardo Forbes — scored a 1-0 win over Louisville in the Eastern Conference Final.
With all that in mind, Louisville is clearly the team to beat in the East with home field assured in conference play and a plus-37 goal difference in 34 games. Former Hounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton has been one of the league’s best, and the home team has no shortage of attacking options with Wilson Harris (15 goals), Enoch Mushagalusa (10 goals) leading the way. Louisville also has an ace in the hole with veteran Cameron Lancaster on the bench; the lethal striking threat has three goals in six games since returning from a long-term injury.
Louisville likes to pin its opponents deep and keep up the pressure, so the Hounds will need to make sure they get on the front foot and counter with scoring of their own, which will fall to the energy of Russell Cicerone (13 goals) and Albert Dikwa (11 goals). Robbie Mertz joined Kenardo Forbes with his 10th assist of the year in last week’s playoff win at Birmingham — though six of Mertz’s came with Atlanta — and the Hounds got their most important goals off the season from the bench last Sunday from on-loan and suddenly in-form Edward Kizza.
Should the Hounds manage to advance on the road for a second straight weekend, it would be notable for more reasons than knocking off the East’s No. 1 seed. It would bring the Hounds two wins from a league title for only the third time in 23 seasons, and it would be the first appearance in a conference final since the USL Championship went to a geographically split alignment in 2015.
Those eager to watch the game with their fellow Hounds fans in Pittsburgh are encouraged to head to Mike’s Beer Bar on the North Shore, the official watch party location of the Hounds. The game will be aired live on 22 The Point and streamed via ESPN+.