As noted last week, New York Red Bulls II currently waits to learn its first-round USL playoffs opponent. It is known that the team finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference will come from a group of five still in with a chance of snatching a post-season berth: Orlando City B, Wilmington Hammerheads, Harrisburg City Islanders, Bethlehem Steel, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The past weekend was an opportunity to at least eliminate one or two of those contenders - but it was an opportunity missed. Four of the five teams chasing eighth played at the weekend, and all four lost.
On September 10, Pittsburgh lost to Charlotte Independence, 4-0; Bethlehem lost to Charleston Battery, 2-1, on the same day. On September 11, Wilmington was beaten, 2-0, by FC Cincinnati. Orlando City B rounded out the field with a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC II.
So all five teams remain mathematically capable of clinching eighth in the East in USL and drawing a first round match-up with NYRB II in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh could (should) be the first to drop out of the race. It needs to win out (and have a lot of results go its way) to qualify. Its next game is on Wednesday, September 14. If that match (hosting FC Cincinnati) is not won, then the Riverhounds are out of the hunt for the playoffs.