BREAKING DOWN THE HOUNDS: The pressure’s on

• Who: Riverhounds (8-9-11) vs. Bethlehem Steel FC (10-11-5)
• When: 3 p.m.
• Where: Goodman Stadium, Lehigh University
• Video: USL YouTube
• Boxscore: USL Match Center

The Riverhounds are in the Lehigh Valley on Sunday — to take on Bethlehem Steel FC with a lot at stake. Both teams will need a win to pull in even for the eighth and final playoff spot in the USL’s Eastern Conference. Anything less than four points in the last two road games could spell doom for the Hounds playoff chances, especially with Steel FC having two games at hand.

• The latest update in the USL Eastern Conference standings after Saturday’s action now has the Hounds and Steel FC (35 points each) three points behind idle NY Red Bulls II. Saint Louis FC pulled into a tie with the Hounds and Steel FC with a wild 2-2 draw at home against FC Cincinnati (40 points) on Saturday night. Orlando City B boosted its playoff chances with a big 2-1 win over Charleston on Saturday as well, to push them up to 39 points.

• Here’s my latest analysis piece on the Hounds for DK Pittsburgh Sports, as I look at how tactical adjustments and depth may be key factors in determining their fate in the final four weeks.

•  This is the third and final match of the season between Steel FC and the Hounds. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in July in Eastern PA, then the Hounds won the return match at Highmark Stadium, 3-2, on a night when team captain Kevin Kerr had two assists and the game-winning goal.

I’ll be adding comments and following the game in the DKPS live game file, with occasional updates on Twitter @pghsoccerscribe.

DK

 

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