Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (6-3-7) is set to host a tough test against the first-place Tampa Bay Rowdies (11-1-6) at 7 p.m. this Saturday at Highmark Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
The Season So Far
Tampa Bay arguably has been the most dominant team in the USL Championship this season, collecting 39 total points and securing points in 17 of 18 games. The Rowdies are currently on a three-game winning streak, defeating Swope Park Rangers, 3-1, in their previous matchup last Sunday in Kansas City, Kansas. The Rowdies defeated the Riverhounds, 2-0, in Pittsburgh’s season opener earlier this season.
Players to Watch
Forward Sebastián Guenzatti has been a force this season for the Rowdies. Guenzatti leads Tampa Bay with 10 goals, 37 shots and 30 chances created, outpacing his fellow Tampa Bay teammates by a significant gap.
Tampa Bay goalkeeper John McCarthy success in net has been in tangible in the Rowdies’ success. McCarthy has collected 43 saves in 17 appearances this season, while maintaining a save success rate of 81.1 percent in net.
Also, look for Tampa Bay’s Andrew Tinari and Leo Fernandes to be key contributors to the attack. Both players are tied for the team lead with four assists this season. Look for Pittsburgh defenders to attempt to stop crosses into the box from these two Tampa Bay players.
Strength: Clean Sheets
The Rowdies are currently tied for the USL Championship lead with nine clean sheets this season. The clean sheets can be attributed to the success of McCarthy in net, as he has only allowed 10 goals this season. Pittsburgh forwards and midfielders could have a tough time placing one past McCarthy in net Saturday night.
Weakness: Road Woes
The Rowdies may currently have the best record in all of the USL Championship, however they have never won a match along “The Mon.” All-time, Tampa Bay holds a record of 0-2-1 at Highmark Stadium.