While part of this agreement included that all USL games starting on April 12 would now be streaming live on ESPN+, another part of this partnership includes a “Game of the Week” featured on one of ESPN’s networks — or its ESPN3 online platform.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh soccer fans, Riverhounds SC didn’t land a single “Game of the Week” match.
On the other hand, some other teams are on the schedule multiple times — with FC Cincinnati being featured four times.
It appears that it’s no coincidence that teams that have been among the league leaders in attendance have been among the team’s that will be getting a lot of ESPN airplay. Maybe even more baffling, is that the league’s defending champions, Louisville City FC, and runner-up Swope Park Rangers, are not included on the Game of the Week schedule.
If there was one week telecast the Hounds could have made a real case for being able to showcase Highmark Stadium — would have been its annual July 4 match — this year vs North Carolina FC. The USL/ESPN chose to feature Indy Eleven inside the spacious Lucas Oil Stadium dome against Ottawa Fury FC for its Game of the Week match on Independence Day.
Here’s the full “Game of the Week” schedule.
2018 USL Game of the Week on ESPN Schedule
April 18 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (ESPN3)
April 27 – Las Vegas Lights FC vs. San Antonio FC (ESPN3)
May 2 – Indy Eleven vs. FC Cincinnati (ESPN3)
May 9 – Fresno FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (ESPN3)
May 30 – Saint Louis FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC (ESPN3)
June 13 – FC Cincinnati vs. Bethlehem Steel FC (ESPN3)
June 26 – Nashville SC vs. Indy Eleven (ESPNews)
July 4 – Indy Eleven vs. Ottawa Fury FC (ESPNews)
July 11 – OKC Energy FC vs. Las Vegas Lights FC (ESPNews)
July 18 – FC Cincinnati vs. Charlotte Independence (ESPNews)
July 25 – San Antonio FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (ESPNU)
August 8 – Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Charleston Battery (ESPNews)
August 15 – Saint Louis FC vs. Sacramento Republic FC (ESPN3)
August 22 – Phoenix Rising FC vs. San Antonio FC (ESPN3)
August 29 – Rio Grande Valley FC vs. San Antonio FC (ESPN3)
September 5 – Phoenix Rising FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (ESPN3)
September 12 – Real Monarchs SLC vs. Saint Louis FC (ESPN3)
September 18 – Nashville SC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (ESPN3)
September 26 – Richmond Kickers vs. FC Cincinnati (ESPN3)
October 10 – Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC (ESPN3)
The Hounds will be featured on local television, with broadcasts on CBS-affiliate Pittsburgh CW including the Saturday, April 21 match at FC Cincinnati.