The 2016 Riverhounds (and full USL) schedule is out. Some quick thoughts on the schedule as well as some dates to circle on the calendar (for those who haven’t already circled all 15 home dates).
The first thing to notice is that all home games are at 7pm. No more scorching in the sun for afternoon kickoffs. There are also no games placed less than three days apart. The team avoided all back-to-back dates last year, but did have an instance of two games in three days while up in Canada. While this year features more mid-week games, mostly towards the end of the season, it avoids some of the ultra-bunched up scheduling the league has used in the past. Of the 15 home dates, 10 fall on a Saturday, two on a Wednesday, and one each on a Monday (July 4th), Thursday and Friday. All of the non-Saturday games fall on the back half of the season.
APRIL 2 – HOME/SEASON OPENER: The team avoids a home game (or any game) on the first week of the season, which gives them and us a better chance to avoid the super cold conditions that last season’s opener presented. However, this does mean the Hounds and Pirates open on consecutive days. May your livers be strong and your bladders stronger still. A Rochester group is threatening to show up. We’ll save a parking spot for the Chevy Malibu they’ll be using to carpool the group.
APRIL 9 – The 2nd edition of the Keystone Derby kicks off between the beloved and Harrisburg. The Cup has a presenting sponsor as apparently the PA Lottery is spending all that Powerball loot they rolled in a few weeks ago.
MAY 14 – Hounds travel to Cincinnati to take on the team that has quickly earned the annoyance/disgust of the USL.
MAY 28 – Hounds go back to where last season ended as they face the New Jersey Red Bulls II with an astounding 10pm kickoff time. It’ll be just like having an old Pacific Time Zone match.
JUNE 25 – Hounds head back to the scene of the crime at Shalen’s Natatorium for the second of three matches with the Rhinos.
JULY 4 – The Independence Day game lives on and against Harrisburg. Not a recipe for disaster. Not. A. Chance.
AUGUST 13 – The team in Lehigh Valley makes their first trip to Pittsburgh. They are trying put together something of a supporters group in place, so maybe a little bit of banter for the game?
AUGUST 27 – The Hounds and Steel Army lift the Keystone Cup in Harrisburg for the second year in a row. We stumble back to the bar where stumbled to last year and celebrate.
SEPTEMBER 24 – We close the regular season against Cincinnati. Will be the second football team from the ‘Nati to end their season in a loss to Pittsburgh.
As you can imagine, preliminary conversations are already taking place for potential road trips, watch parties (New and improved for 2016) and a date for the 3rd Annual Steel Army Open. Keep watching the blog, or better yet, attend the Steel Army AGM to learn about the funsies being planned for this season.