Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Thursday, June 22, 7 p.m. ET.
Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Follow us for live updates on Twitter @RowdiesGameday
Head to Five Bucks Drinkery on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg to watch with other Rowdies fans and enjoy drink specials during the match.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 4-4-6 (W-T-L), 16 points, 11th place
Tampa Bay: 6-6-3 (W-T-L), 24 points, 3rd place
Tampa Bay dropped to third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference following last weekend’s 1-1 draw in Richmond against the Kickers. Tampa Bay looked like it was just seconds away from winning the match until the Kickers’ Franck Tayou scored an acrobatic goal in the fourth minute of added time to steal the win from the Rowdies. This is the first time since April 29 that the Rowdies have not been in either first or second place heading into a match.
The Rowdies’ draw in Richmond last weekend was their fourth-consecutive draw, equaling a Modern Era club record. Tampa Bay’s only previous stretch of four straight draws came in August of 2013. That streak was broken with a 3-2 win over the Carolina RailHawks. Tampa Bay is winless in five league matches dating back to a 3-1 win over Toronto FC II on May 19, just more than a month ago.
The Rowdies released forward Deshorn Brown on Tuesday to allow him to sign with D.C. United. Brown had scored three goals in 15 appearances.
Midfielder Justin Chavez remains sidelined by a toe injury sustained in Toronto on May 19.
Pittsburgh enters this match winless in five matches in USL play. Prior to that, the Riverhounds had won three-straight matches, beating Harrisburg, Toronto and Ottawa. With the dip in form, Pittsburgh has slipped to 11th place in the Eastern Conference, but the Riverhounds are just one point out of the playoff positions.
The Rowdies and Riverhounds have met once before, in a 2015 U.S. Open Cup match in Pittsburgh. The home team won that night, with Rob Vincent scoring a stoppage-time equalizer to eliminate the Rowdies from the competition.
Offensively, Pittsburgh is led by former Rowdies forward Corey Hertzog, who has scored six goals this season. Hertzog played for the Rowdies in 2014 and 2015, scoring four goals in 32 appearances for the club. Goalkeeper Trey Mitchell is in the top 10 in the league for saves (32) and clean sheets (4.)
Hertzog won’t be the only familiar face for Rowdies fans. Defenders Gale Agbossoumonde and Rich Balchan both play the Riverhounds now, though Balchan is out injured and will not face the Rowdies on Thursday night. Agbossoumonde has only made three appearances this year, though he was in Pittsburgh’s starting lineup in its last game. Both players were on the Rowdies’ 2015 roster.