Apparently there will be no repeat of the first Keystone Derby match from a year-ago, which was played in Arctic conditions.
In anticipation of extreme weather conditions expected to sweep through Western Pennsylvania this weekend — the United Soccer League has agreed to postpone this Saturday’s game between the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Harrisburg City Islanders at Highmark Stadium.
The game has been rescheduled to Sunday, July 17. Kickoff will be announced at a later date. Tickets for Saturday’s game will be honored at the rescheduled contest.
This was probably the right move.
Last year, the Riverhounds defeated Harrisburg 5-2 in conditions that included 17 degree temperatures and a wind-chill that was close to zero. Kevin Kerr and Rob Vincent combined for all of the scoring (Kerr 3 goals; Vincent 2).
Very few fans showed up for that one.
On the heels of a home opening 1-0 loss to Rochester that also had a number of no-shows and lackluster attendance, this is the smart move.
This will enable the Riverhounds to capitalize on moving this game to a time of the year when they are getting their largest crowds of the season.
In addition, it provides the team with another week of training without a match, which is not ideal, but will keep the team fairly healthy and well-rested early in the season.
Pittsburgh’s defense of the Keystone Derby Cup presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery and K&L Gates will now begin on July 4 when the Hounds host their instate rival at Highmark Stadium.
Next up for the Riverhounds will be a trip to Canada next Sunday, as they take on Toronto FC II at Ontario Soccer Centre, Toronto with a 4 p.m. kickoff.