USL Championship: Pittsburgh wins conference title, final playoff berths decided

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds claimed the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference when they beat Birmingham Legion FC, 1-0, on Mark Forrest's 90th-minute header in the final game of the regular season.

In all, four of seven expansion teams made the playoffs: Birmingham, El Paso, Austin and New Mexico United. Just three of 10 MLS-operated second teams advanced: New York Red Bulls II, Real Monarchs and LA Galaxy II.

The Riverhounds' win jumped them past Nashville SC and into the Eastern Conference top spot.
 
Charleston and Birmingham moved past Saint Louis FC to claim the two remaining berths in the Eastern Conference. SLFC's hopes died on Saturday when it lost at home to two-time defending champion Louisville City, 1-0.

Eastern Conference Standings:
1. *Pittsburgh 68 points
2. *Nashville SC 67 points
3. *Indy Eleven 63 points
3. *Louisville City 60 points
4. *Tampa Bay 58 points
5. *NY Red Bulls II 57 points
7. *North Carolina FC 56 points
8. *Ottawa 52 points
9. *Charleston 46 points
10. *Birmingham 43 points
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11. Saint Louis FC 42 points
12. Loudoun United 39 points
13. Charlotte 38 points
14. Atlanta United 2 35 points
15. Memphis 901 34 points
16. Bethlehem Steel 31 points
17. Hartford 29 points
18. Swope Park Rangers 26 points
*Clinched playoff berth.

Eastern Conference Play-in Round
Wednesday, October 23
No. 7 North Carolina FC vs. No. 10 Birmingham, 7 p.m. ET
No. 8 Ottawa vs. No. 9 Charleston, 7 p.m. ET

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Saturday, October 26
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. lower remaining play-in round seed, 7 p.m. ET
No. 4 Louisville City vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay, 7 p.m. ET
No. 3 Indy Eleven vs. No. 6 NY Red Bulls II, 7:30 p.m. ET
No. 2 Nashville SC vs. higher remaining play-in round seed, 8 p.m. ET

Expansion New Mexico United clinched the final playoff berth in the Western Conference on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over the Las Vegas Lights in front of 13,788 fans at Isotopes Park.

The win combined with a 2-2 draw for San Antonio FC against Colorado Springs allowed United to jump past SAFC into 10th place.

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Western Conference Standings:
1. *Phoenix 78 points
2. *Reno 1868 60 points
3. *Fresno FC 57 points
4. *Real Monarchs 56 points
5. *Orange County SC 54 points
6. *El Paso 50 points
7. *Sac Republic FC 48 points
8. *Austin 48 points
9. *LA Galaxy II 48 points
10. *New Mexico United 46 points
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11. San Antonio FC 45 points
12. Rio Grande Valley FC 41 points
13. Las Vegas 41 points
14. Timbers 2 38 points
15. OKC Energy FC 38 points
16. Tulsa 34 points
17. Tacoma 31 points
18. Colorado Springs 27 points
*Clinched playoff berth.

Western Conference Play-in Round
Wednesday, October 23
No. 8 Austin vs. No. 9 LA Galaxy II, 8:30 p.m. ET
No. 7 Sac Republic FC vs. No. 10 New Mexico United, 10:30 p.m. ET
 
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Saturday, October 26
No. 4 Real Monarchs
vs. No. 5 Orange County SC, 3 p.m. ET
No. 2 Reno 1868 vs. lower remaining play-in round seed, 8:30 p.m. ET
No. 1 Phoenix vs. lower remaining play-in round seed, 10:30 p.m. ET
No. 3 Fresno FC vs. No. 6 El Paso, 10:30 p.m. ET

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