Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC currently sits in first place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference, with only one point separating it from Nashville SC in second place. Pittsburgh has already secured its spot in the postseason but is still vying to finish the season top of the Eastern Conference and thereby earn home field advantage through at least the conference finals.
Bob Lilley’s side comes to BBVA Field with the first playoff seed in mind, so it is unlikely that Legion FC will see a rested Pittsburgh side on Sunday, October 20. However, if Atlanta United II knock off Nashville on Saturday, Pittsburgh will have the one-seed all locked up before kickoff.
Legion FC’s 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls II on October 16 has the team in playoff position (ninth place) but with little breathing room. The black and gold are even on points with the Charleston Battery (ahead on a tiebreaker), and one point ahead of 11th-place Saint Louis FC.
Any combination of three points earned by Birmingham or dropped by Charleston or St. Louis will ensure a playoff birth for the boys. If BHM wins on Sunday, playoffs are clinched, but Legion FC’s fate can be decided as early as Saturday, when the Battery and SLFC play Bethlehem Steel FC and North Carolina FC, respectively. If either team loses, Birmingham is in.
Riverhounds SC finds itself in first place for a reason. Pittsburgh has lost only four games throughout the course of the season and has the third best defensive record in the Championship with only 30 goals allowed all year in 33 matches.
The last time BHM and PIT faced off, the latter came away with a 4-1 win at home. Both sides have done nothing but improve since their last meeting, which, when paired with the postseason implications, promises to make Sunday’s fixture a must-see for Legion fans and Birmingham sports enthusiasts alike.