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Gameday Previews – Wednesday, September 14

By Staff, 09/13/22, 1:09PM EDT


Legion FC, Hounds clash with inside track to home playoff game at stake

Birmingham Legion FC plays host to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in a crucial contest for both sides as they vie for a home playoff game to kick off the 2022 USL Championship Playoffs. | Photo courtesy Mallory Neil / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

One of the key games in the race for homefield advantage in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference serves as the lone midweek contest in Week 28 of the regular season as Birmingham Legion FC plays host to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC separated by a point in the top five of the standings.

Here’s a look ahead to the action.

Birmingham Legion FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Venue: Protective Stadium
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ Predictor: BHM 43%, PIT 30%, Draw 27%

The Lowdown: Fourth-placed Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC heads to face fifth-placed Birmingham Legion FC with both teams aiming to return to the win column as they meet for the second time this season. The Hounds hold a one-point lead on Legion FC and will be aiming to complete a season sweep of the series – which would earn Pittsburgh the head-to-head tiebreaker between the clubs should they end the season level on points – after taking a 1-0 victory on a goal by Daniel Griffin in May at Highmark Stadium. Pittsburgh is undefeated in its last five outings currently after playing to a 0-0 draw with Eastern Conference leader Louisville City FC this past Saturday and has won its last two road contests at Atlanta United 2 and Loudoun United FC. It’s likely the Three Sparks will provide a stronger test, with the side looking to rebound from a 4-3 defeat to Indy Eleven on Saturday night at Michael A. Carroll Stadium that saw Marlon score twice as the side rallied from a three-goal deficit in the first half only to concede a later winner. Legion FC has lost only twice in 13 games at home so far this season, winning seven times, and needs that form to continue to jump past the Hounds and back into position to host a potential postseason meeting between the sides in October.

Spotlight Players
Birmingham Legion FC – Jonathan Dean:
The right back has been one of the most consistent performers at his position in the league this season. Another big two-way display would go a long way to helping the hosts take victory.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Robbie Mertz: The Pittsburgh native has scored three goals for the Hounds in three prior appearances against Legion FC in the regular season and playoffs, a record the visitors will be hoping he continues.

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