In conjunction with the 13 other USL Pro member clubs, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds revealed their 2014 regular-season schedule Thursday afternoon, featuring 14 home games for the team’s second year at Highmark Stadium.
Following road matches at Orlando and Richmond, Va., the Riverhounds will open their sophomore season at Station Square on Saturday, Apr. 12 against the Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads FC at 7 p.m.
The Hounds dig into the South Side portion of their schedule in earnest from there, as a season-long three-game homestand follows from late April into mid-May. Pittsburgh will battle Charleston (S.C.), Orlando and Rochester (N.Y.) over that span.
While Saturday will be the most common day for a 2014 home match – there are five – the Riverhounds will play twice on Sunday in June, against in-state rival Harrisburg (Pa.) on the first of the month and Richmond on the 22nd. June also features additional visits by Harrisburg (Wednesday the 11th) and Dayton (Saturday the 28th).
The Riverhounds will celebrate the Fourth of July with a battle against Rochester, then welcome Charlotte to Highmark Stadium on Thurday, July 17. August includes back-to-back matches against teams from Los Angeles, the expansion Galaxy II (Saturday, Aug. 2) and the Blues (Friday, Aug. 8).
All USL Pro sides will play two games apiece against clubs from the MLS Reserve league; the Hounds get a crack at FC Dallas’ primary farm team on Aug. 24, the final of four Sunday matches on the home slate. Pittsburgh wraps up its regular season when Phoenix comes to town Saturday, Sept. 6.
The top eight teams in USL Pro will qualify for the league playoffs, which is a single-elimination tournament. Pittsburgh (10-8-8 in 2013) made the postseason last year as the seventh seed before falling in the quarterfinals to Orlando City, the eventual league champions.
Defending USL Pro MVP Jose Angulo, he of the league-record 15 goals last season, returns for 2014 along with new signing Joseph Ngwenya, an all-USL Pro selection last summer for Richmond. Late last year, the Riverhounds signed a player-development agreement with the MLS’ Houston Dynamo, which will provide further talent to the team.