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QUEST FOR 1st: FCC extends lead over Hounds to seven points

QUEST FOR 1st: FCC extends lead over Hounds to seven points

The race for first place in the USL’s Eastern Conference saw FC Cincinnati extend its lead over the Riverhounds SC and Charleston Battery this past week. as FCC pulled ahead with an impressive 3-0 win against the Battery, while the Hounds settled for a 0-0 draw.

FCC now lead the Hounds by seven games, and the Battery by eight.

It seems as if — in addition to Pittsburgh and Charleston, only defending Louisville City have a realistic chance to stay in the race for first among the rest of the teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Hounds can’t look too far ahead, despite a showdown at Cincinnati looming on September 1.  They have consecutive Wednesday matches against struggling but talented Tampa Bay Rowdies, and then at Indy Eleven, before heading to Cincinnati for that match next Saturday.

USL WEEK 23 RESULTS:

Wednesday, August 15

  • Indy Eleven 3, North Carolina FC 2
  • Ottawa Fury FC 2, Richmond Kickers 0

Thursday, August 16

  • Bethlehem Steel FC 2, Toronto FC II 0

Saturday, August 18

  • FC Cincinnati 3, Charleston Battery 0
  • Louisville City FC 0, Nashville SC 0
  • Ottawa Fury FC 0, Indy Eleven 0
  • Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 0, Charlotte Independence 0
  • Richmond Kickers 3, Penn FC 2

USL Eastern Conference Playoff Contenders

The rest of the top eight spots have seen plenty movement — and there will continue to be all the way through the end of the regular season in October. Every one of these teams has been inconsistent. The Red Bulls can’t defend, Teams like Ottawa (25 games played and a -5 goal differential!) and Bethlehem Steel FC (conference high 26 games played) have surged into the top eight with some added games played over the others in the standings.

Nashville SC have beaten all of the teams in the top four, yet they are currently below the playoff line in ninth place, though they’ve only played 23 matches.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Tuesday, August 21

New York Red Bulls II vs. North Carolina FC
MSU Soccer Park, Montclair, New Jersey | 7 p.m. ET

 

Wednesday, August 22

Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Ottawa Fury FC
Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania | 5 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | 7 p.m. ET

ATL UTD 2 vs. FC Cincinnati
Coolray Field, Gwinnett, Georgia | 7 p.m. ET 

New York Red Bulls II vs. North Carolina FC
MSU Soccer Park, Montclair, New Jersey | 7 p.m. ET

Charlotte Independence vs. Louisville City FC
Sportsplex at Matthews, Matthews, North Carolina | 7:30 p.m. ET

 

Saturday, August 25

Charleston Battery vs. New York Red Bulls II
MUSC Health Stadium, Charleston, South Carolina | 7 p.m. ET

North Carolina FC vs. Charlotte Independence
Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina | 7 p.m. ET

Ottawa Fury FC vs. Penn FC
TD Place, Ottawa, Ontario | 7 p.m. ET

Richmond Kickers vs. Louisville City FC
City Stadium, Richmond, Virginia | 7 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Cincinnati
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida | 7:30 p.m. ET

Nashville SC vs. Bethlehem Steel FC
First Tennessee Park, Nashville, Tennessee | 8:30 p.m. ET

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Pittsburgh Division I College Soccer Schedule (Spring 2021)

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