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Riverhounds to face defending champs to open season

| Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 3:03 p.m.

The Riverhounds' 2014 season will begin in the same city the 2013 campaign ended.

The Riverhounds will go on the road to face defending champion Orlando City on March 29 for their first game of the USL Pro season, according to the league schedule released Thursday.

Orlando City defeated the River-hounds, 5-0, in last year's USL Pro quarterfinals at Florida Citrus Bowl. This year's opener, a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, will be played at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, as construction on Orlando's soccer-only stadium continues ahead of the club's move to MLS in 2015.

The Riverhounds will play their home opener at Highmark Stadium in the third game of the season, when they host Wilmington at 7 p.m. on April 12. The Riverhounds qualified for last year's playoffs by two points ahead of ninth-place Wilmington.

Other highlights on the schedule include June being a rivalry month. The Riverhounds will host in-state foe Harrisburg on June 1 and June 11, go on the road to face Harrisburg on June 14 and visit their longest-running rival, Rochester, on June 7.

New USL opponents come later in the schedule, when the Riverhounds travel to Oklahoma City on July 12, travel to Sacramento on July 27 and host the Los Angeles Galaxy II on Aug. 2.

The team also will face two MLS reserve sides in matches that count in the league standings. The River-hounds face Real Salt Lake's reserves in Utah on July 25 and host FC Dallas' reserves on Aug. 24.

All USL Pro matches this season will be streamed online via team channels on YouTube.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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