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Preview: NPSL Midwest Region Quarterfinal — Pittsburgh Hotspurs at Cleveland SC, 7 p.m.

NPSL Midwest Region Quarterfinal

Pittsburgh Hotspurs at Cleveland SC

7 p.m. kickoff — Finnie Stadium — Baldwin Wallace University — Berea, OH



The Pittsburgh Hotspurs boasted an impressive 6-2-0 record in its second season, earning a spot in NPSL playoffs.

Their reward?

They face Rust Belt Division foes Cleveland SC for the third time this season.

The Hotspurs hope that the third time is the charm, as Cleveland defeated the upstart, second-place finishers in the Rust Belt divison twice this season.  After a one-sided 6-1 victory to open the season for Cleveland, a much-improved Hotspurs side fell just short, losing 2-1 in the rematch at Founders Field in late June.

The second meeting proved to be an intense, physical match, but Pittsburgh couldn’t stave off Cleveland SC’s strong second half push, losing 2-1 at Founders Field on Friday evening.

The Hotspurs took the lead with a goal from Nolan Hutter in the 6th minute, but Cleveland surged past Pittsburgh in the second half on goals from Vincent Bell and Thomas Beck.

Cleveland SC storms back in second half to defeat Pittsburgh Hotspurs, 2-1

In the rematch, Pittsburgh will have to fix some of the challenges they faced against Cleveland, particuarly playing the ball out of the defending third more efficiently and minimizing mistakes while not sitting back too much against an experienced club that has previously made deep runs in the NPSL tournament.

What’s at stake? 

Winner will advance to the @NPSLSoccer Midwest Semifinal on Friday.

Where to watch? 

For Hotspurs supporters who couldn’t make the trip to Cleveland, there is a watch party being held at Industry Public House. 4305 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA

Gameday Updates 

Look for updates from Hotspurs twitter account ( @HotspursClub ) plus we’ll have a game recap and post-match reaction on Pittsburgh Soccer Now.


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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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