Connect with us

Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer

Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer: Hounds season hinges on homestand, college schedules are out and Steel City eye postseason

Photo courtesy Ed Thompson

The Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer is back as we’ve already celebrated Independence Day and we’re now ready for another weekend of soccer and what promises to be a very interesting month ahead on the local footy scene.

The Riverhounds are sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, posting just three wins (3w-8l-6d) and having scored 11 goals in 17 matches but will now have four straight home matches at Highmark Stadium beginning Saturday night when they host Monterey Bay FC (7 p.m. kickoff), a club that features a former Hound, Alex Dixon. 

Look for our match preview to drop late Friday or early Saturday, as the key storyline for the Hounds is that their season absolutely hinges on this homestand, which should feature excellent crowds that will pack Highmark Stadium.  The four-match run includes clashes with Oakland Roots FC, Loudoun United FC and Hartford Athletic.

Anything less than 7 to 12 points during this stretch and you can probably stick a fork in the Hounds’ postseason chances. Coming up short of the postseason would be unprecedented in the Bob Lilley era — and for coach Lilley who has never missed clinching a playoff berth in his 20-plus year coaching career.

Both of Steel City FC’s squads — both still unbeaten — have their eyes on the postseason, as the men’s and women’s teams will wrap-up regular season play this weekend.

Steel City FC men can clinch a regular season top of table finish in NPSL’s Great Lakes Division on Saturday with a win when they host Niagara 1812 at Founders Field (3 p.m. kickoff).

The Steel City women will travel to Buffalo for a Sunday late afternoon (5 p.m. kickoff).

Steel City’s men, the defending division champs, defeated Niagara 1812, 5-1, earlier this season. With a 6-0-3 record, at 21 points, they’re dead even with Akron City FC (7-2-0).

Steel City would need to win to clinch first place in regular season due to head-to-head record (1-0) vs Akron. If they draw they would need Akron to also draw or lose to Erie Commodores (Saturday, 6 p.m.). hold the edge in goal differential (+32 to Steel City’s +20).

Steel City’s women (5w-0l-2d, 17 points) are currently third in the UWS East standings, and will face a rematch with a FC Buffalo side who are right on their heels (5-1-0, 15 points) in the standing but have to play two matches this weekend (they face Flower City on Friday).

Of course, there’s a lot more that we’re keeping up with on both the local and international soccer fronts.

Before we know it, collegiate and scholastic soccer seasons will be here.  In the past week plus, most of the Division I soccer programs in our area, have released their schedules.  You can find links to our stories and/or the program’s schedules below.

The international soccer calendar is packed too, as both Copa America (without the USMNT now) and Euro 2024 will wrap up over the course of the next week as they’ve reached knockout stages. 

Then, the Olympics will be kicking off at the end of the month, with significant Pittsburgh connections as Pitt women’s coach Randy Waldrum and midfielder Deborah Abiodun will be representing Nigeria in the 12-nation women’s tournament in France.

This week, before he left for his team’s training camp in Spain, Waldrum joined me on the Sounding Off on Soccer podcast for another great interview.

The veteran coach spoke about numerous topics including his thoughts on Pitt program ahead of a new season, Nigeria’s progress in the past year since their successful World Cup run — and he touched upon maybe one of the most interesting themes centered around what it takes to be successful as a National Team coach. In light of the immense scrutiny USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is under, Waldrum has pretty interesting thoughts and perspectives as a National Team coach who has faced his share of adversity.

Be sure to give the Podcast a listen!

Sounding Off on Soccer Podcast: Pitt’s Randy Waldrum leads Nigeria’s women’s squad into Olympics

Pittsburgh Soccer Schedule (7/6/2024 – 7/7/2024)

Saturday, July 6, 2024 

3 p.m.  — Steel City FC vs Niagara 1812 – Founders Field (Cheswick)

7 p.m.  — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs Monterey Bay FC — Highmark Stadium

Sunday, July 7, 2024

5 p.m. — Steel City FC at Buffalo FC — All High Stadium (Buffalo, NY)

Area Division I Soccer Schedules (2024)

https://pittsburghsoccernow.com/2024/07/01/pitt-mens-soccer-announces-2024-home-friendly-schedule/

Looking to keep momentum rolling, Pitt women’s soccer announces ambitious 2024 schedule

Robert Morris women’s soccer reveals 2024 schedule

COPA America Schedule

Quarterfinals

July 4
Argentina def Ecuador (1-1, 4-2 pks)

July 5
Venezuela vs. Canada, 8 p.m. on FS1

July 6
Colombia vs. Panama, 3 p.m. on FS1
Uruguay vs. Brazil, 6 p.m. on FS1

Semifinals

July 9
Argentina vs. TBD, 8 p.m. on FS1

July 10
TBD vs. TBD, 8 p.m. on FS1

Third Place

July 13
TBD vs. TBD, 8 p.m. on FS1

Final

July 14
TBD vs. TBD, 8 p.m. on FOX

Euro 2024

Quarterfinals

Friday, July 5

Spain v Germany – Stuttgart – 12pm

Portugal v France – Hamburg – 3pm

Saturday, July 6

England v Switzerland – Dusseldorf – 12pm

Netherlands v Turkiye – Berlin – 3pm

Semifinals

Tuesday, July 9

Winner Germany v Spain vs Winner Portugal v France

Wednesday, July 10

Winner Englans v Switzerland v Winner Netherlands v Turkiye

Final

Sunday, July 14 –

Semifinal winners at Munich – 3pm

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).

Glory on the Grass

PSN’s Featured Community Partner: Open Field International

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

Subscribe to PGH Soccer Now

Enter your email address to subscribe to PGH Soccer Now and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More in Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer