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Preview: Riverhounds SC vs Swope Park Rangers

Ethan Vanacore-Decker of Swope Park Rangers. Pic care of SPR via twitter.

Preview: Riverhounds SC vs Swope Park Rangers

The Swope Park Rangers and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC play today in the second leg of their two matches this season, although the fortunes of the two teams have diverged sharply since their 2-2 draw in Kansas City from five months ago. Swope have tumbled to an abysmal 3-11-6 record, which puts them 18th out of 18 teams in the USL Championship Eastern Conference, while the Riverhounds have climbed out of the cellar and into 6th place, 10 points clear of missing the playoffs and with 14 games left to play.

Swope’s struggles are reflected in their lineup instability: of the eleven players that started their match against the Hounds in March, only two players retained their starting spots for their match last week against Nashville SC, a 2-0 home defeat; Brazilian left back Alexsander Andrade and midfielder Felipe Hernandez. The rest of the lineup have been or is currently fungible. Former Arsenal signing and USMNT youth star Gedion Zelalem is with Swope. And two other US Youth National Team players, Wan Kuzain and Jatlin Lindsey, are on the roster.

But all you really need to know is that Swope’s defense is terrible. They’ve conceded 45 goals, third-most in the USL East. Paulo Nagamura‘s young squad is 0-7-2 on the road; when away from home, the kids get that deer-in-headlights look and become roadkill wherever they venture. If the Hounds put on a show like they did last week against Memphis, when they started their dual offensive sparkplugs Anthony Velarde and Robbie Mertz, they should cruise to victory again.

Check the following links for full coverage of today’s match:

For this week’s Riverhounds Notebook from John Krysinsky, click here:

Riverhounds SC Notebook: Fight for Eastern Conference supremacy is just beginning

For this week’s View from the Booth from Matt Gatjka, click here:

View From The Booth: Grasping the Hounds’ new normal

To see the in-depth scouting report from the last Hounds-Swope match, click here:

Preview and Scouting Report: Swope Park Rangers vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

And to see the result from the last #SPRvPIT match, click here:

Hounds salvage 2-2 draw in wild finish at Swope Park

 

Match Information

Date: Saturday, Aug. 10

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

StreamingESPN+

Live StatisticsUSL Championship Match Center

Live Updates: Twitter at @RiverhoundsSC and #PITvSPR

Mark Asher Goodman is a soccer fanatic with a particular interest in tactical analysis and advanced data and statistics. He writes for the Denver Post and Pittsburgh Soccer Now, and co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

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