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USL Championship Playoff Field Set: Hounds-Detroit City to run it back in first-round at Highmark Stadium on Saturday

The bracket for the 2023 USL Championship Playoffs was set on Saturday night with 16 teams set to battle for a place in the 2023 USL Championship Final as the postseason begins next weekend.

The Riverhounds, who wrapped up its regular season with the most points in the league, and will be the top overall seed, settled for an ugly, scoreless draw at Detroit City FC on Saturday.

Now, the two clubs will run it back against DCFC on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.

Hounds Enter Playoffs Unbeaten in Eight After ‘Ugly’ Draw in Detroit

New Mexico United and El Paso Locomotive FC claimed the final two berths in the Western Conference with impressive wins on the final weekend of the regular season, while Detroit City FC jumped into the final place in the Eastern Conference playoff positions as its draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Miami FC’s loss to Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night proved enough to send Le Rouge back to the postseason for a second consecutive season.

Detroit City will get an immediate return fixture against the Hounds, who enter the postseason as the USL Championship Players’ Shield winner and No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The all-time series between the clubs, the Hounds hold a 1-0-3 (W-L-D) record vs DCFC.

It will be the first home playoff match for Pittsburgh, since 2019, when they hosted Louisville City FC, losing 2-1, in Extra Time.

Pittsburgh will try to become the second team in as many seasons to both end the campaign with the best record in the regular season and lift the Championship title as it kicks off its postseason at Highmark Stadium next Saturday night. (San Antonio took those honors in 2022).

Elsewhere in the East next Saturday, defending Conference champion Louisville City FC will head on the road to face Memphis 901 FC, while the Tampa Bay Rowdies will host Birmingham Legion FC in the third postseason meeting between the clubs over the past four years. Then on Sunday, the Charleston Battery will host Indy Eleven as both sides make their return to the playoffs this campaign.

In the Western Conference, No. 1 seed Republic FC will play host to New Mexico United in a rematch from last year’s postseason that Sacramento claimed at Heart Health Park. Elsewhere on Saturday night, defending Championship title holders San Antonio FC will play host to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final, while Orange County SC will host Locomotive FC at Championship Soccer Stadium.

The weekend will wrap up as San Diego Loyal SC plays host to Phoenix Rising FC at Torero Stadium on Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET with the rivals set to meet in the postseason for the first time.

The 2023 USL Championship Playoffs will be played on a fixed bracket with no re-seeding after each round.

The Conference Semifinals will be held the weekend of October 27-29, while the Conference Finals will be held the weekend of November 3-5 before the USL Championship Final on Sunday, November 12 on ESPN2 and SiriusXM FC.

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).

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