While the Steelers and Penguins are still in the first half of their seasons, Station Square is playing host to USL playoff games as the top-seeded Riverhounds continue their quest for a championship.
For the second year in a row, Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh will host at least one playoff game in the USL playoffs. Last year, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds made their return to the playoffs, and this year they claimed the best record in the Eastern Conference.
While last year’s first-round playoff matchup resulted in a loss for the Riverhounds, 2019 has already proven to be more successful. Pittsburgh began this season’s playoffs with a 7-0 victory in the quarterfinals against the tenth-seeded Birmingham Legion FC.
Birmingham defeated the seven seed, North Carolina FC, in a play-in game earlier in the week to earn a date with Pittsburgh. The two teams met just last week in Birmingham, and the Riverhounds won 1-0.
The Hounds, who will have home-field advantage throughout the USL’s Eastern Conference Playoffs, were lead by Neco Brett, who recorded a total of four goals. Robbie Mertz and Jordan Dover contributed one goal each, while the other Pittsburgh goal was an own goal by Birmingham.
Pittsburgh recorded five of its seven goals in the first half, before continuing to dominate in the second half, and the team ensured that goalkeeper Kyle Morton was not busy, as he only had to make one save to earn the shutout.
All in all, the Riverhounds battled the elements to capture the club’s first playoff victory ever at Highmark Stadium.
Now the Riverhounds can look ahead to the conference semifinals, where the team will host Louisville City FC. In the regular season, Pittsburgh was 1-0-1 against Louisville, and only one goal was scored across the two contests. Louisville beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the quarterfinals by the score of 2-1.
The Riverhounds finished the regular season with a record of 19-4-11, which was good for 68 points, one better than Nashville SC. They will look to follow Saturday’s record-breaking performance with the team’s first trip to the conference finals.
How far can the Riverhounds make it this postseason? Leave your comments below!