- Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Football club infobox
clubname = Pittsburgh Riverhounds
fullname = Pittsburgh Riverhounds
nickname = Riverhounds
founded = 1999
Chartiers Valley High School
capacity = 4,600
chairman = flagicon|USA Gene Klein
manager = flagicon|USA Gene Klein
USL Second Division
season = 2008
position = 8th, did not qualify for playoffs
Pittsburgh Riverhounds is an American professional
soccerteam, founded in 1999. The team is a member of the USL Second Division, the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid.
They currently play in the stadium on the campus of
Chartiers Valley High Schoolin Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, around 9 miles west of downtown Pittsburgh. The team is currently coached by Gene Klein. The team colors of black, blue, and white were adopted in 2008.
The Riverhounds were founded by Paul Heasley in 1999 as a member of the USL's A-League, now known as USL-1. It played its home games in Bethel Park at
Bethel Park High School's football stadium. That same year the Riverhounds were named the A-League Organization of the Year. John Kowalskiwas the first head coach of the club; Justin Evanswas the first player drafted to play for the Riverhounds. In their 1999 inaugural season, they advanced to the conference semi-finals in the A-league playoffs. Two years later in 2001, they reached the US Open Cup quarterfinals after beating the Colorado Rapidsof the Major League Soccerand then-A-league opponent El Paso Patriotsin their first two games, but the Hounds were eliminated in the quarterfinals by their second MLS opponent of the tournament, the Chicago Fire, in a two-overtime, 3-2 defeat. The Riverhounds have not reached that level of success since that time due in large part to undergoing multiple ownership and location changes.
In December of 2004 Heasley sold the team to Sports Facility LLC, owners of the
Washington Wild Thingsbaseball team of the Frontier League.cite web | last=Price | first=Karen | date=2005-05-07 | url=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_331862.html | title=Wild Things owners looking to duplicate success | work= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review| accessdate=2008-07-09 ] The Riverhounds played both the 2005and 2006seasons at the Wild Things' minor league baseball stadium, CONSOL Energy Park, on the outskirts of Washington, PA, about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. The franchise continued to hold soccer academies and training to youth across the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginiatri-state area, but did not play during the 2007 season due to a structural reorganization. During that hiatus, the Riverhounds were sold yet again to a new ownership group.
On October 29, 2007, they announced another venue change and for the 2008 season at
Chartiers Valley High School's stadium, which is just off the Kirwin Heights Exit of Interstate 79in Pittsburgh's South Hills.cite web | date=2007-10-29 | url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07302/829418-139.stm | title=Sports briefs | work= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette| accessdate=2008-07-10]
Only one jersey number, "99", has been officially retired by the Riverhounds. That honor was bestowed upon original owner Paul Heasley for founding the club in 1999.
Colors and Mascot
The Riverhounds uniforms are black, blue, and white. These colors were adopted before the start of the 2008 season to honor their academy and training partnership with
Everton FCof the English Premier League.cite web | last=Zeise | first=Paul | date=2007-07-13 | url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07194/801366-139.stm | title=Riverhounds kick up ante | work= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette| accessdate=2008-07-09 ] cite web | last=McLeod | first=Scott | date=2007-08-10 | url=http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/blues-partner-river-hounds.html | title=Blues Partner Riverhounds | work=EvertonFC.com | accessdate=2008-07-09 ] The team's use of blue is an allusion to the blue collar populace of Pittsburgh.
The term "Riverhound" is derived from the expression "river dog"," which refers to the men and women who work on the many barges that ply the three rivers at their
confluencein Pittsburgh. In fact, the team's mascot, AMO, is named for the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers.
* 1999-2003 – Bethel Park Stadium,
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
* 2004 – Stadium at
Moon Area High School, Moon Township, Pennsylvania
* 2005-2006 – Falconi Field,
* 2008-current – Stadium at
Chartiers Valley High School, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
There has been no official announcement concerning a permanent home for the Hounds, but much has been speculated since GM and manager
Gene Klein, on 13 July2007, said that the Riverhounds "are to the point on the stadium complex where it is a matter of paperwork and it will get done. We hope to make an official announcement on it...but like everything else, we'll walk with it before we try and run. We are doing things the right way." More recently, on 9 July2008, Dan Onorato, Chief Executive of Allegheny County, announced a planned development of a 78-acre sports and recreation park that covers area near Pittsburgh in Coraopolis, Robinson, and Moon known as Montour Junction.cite web | last=Rujumba | first=Karamagi | date=2008-07-09 | url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08191/895693-139.stm | title=County unveils plan for sports complex | work= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette| accessdate=2008-07-09 ] The land was donated to the county's Redevelopment Authority by the Sports Legacy Foundation, which is chaired by Riverhounds founder and former owner Paul Heasley.cite web | last=Pfister | first=Bonnie | date=2008-07-09 | url=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_576651.html | title=Private donations sought for sports complex | work= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review| accessdate=2008-07-09 ] The SLF has owned the land since 2002and has already spent about $60k for the environmental cleanup of the land, which was once owned by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroadand had been declared a brownfield. The proposed uses for the park include soccer pitches as well as other multipurpose team sports fields such as rugby and lacrosse. It is believed by many that a stadium will be built around one of the fields and that it would likely become a permanent home for the Hounds.
Out on loan
Greg Janicki|other=at D.C. Unitedto the end of 2008 [cite web | last=Butler | first=Brian | title=Teams beef up rosters prior to freeze deadline | url=http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20080916&content_id=188371&vkey=news_mls&fext=.jsp | date=2008-09-16 | work=MLSnet.com | accessdate=2008-09-17] Fs player|no=21|nat=RSA|pos=MF|name= Thabiso Khumalo|other=at D.C. Unitedto the end of 2008 [cite news | title=D.C. signs South African midfielder Khumalo | url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/soccer/09/10/dc.khumalo/index.html | work= Sports Illustrated| publisher= Goal.com| date=2008-09-10 | accessdate=2008-09-10]
Notable former players
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are led by Head Coach and General Manager
Gene Klein. This will be his second season at the helm, after a successful career as the championship soccer coach at Quaker Valley High School. He is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Klein's staff includes Pittsburgh soccer notables John Kowalski, Paul Child, and Jeroen Walstra. Kowalski is also the Head Coach of the Robert Morris UniversityWomen's Soccer team, where he has been inducted into the university's Hall of Fame. Previously, he coached the MLS Tampa Bay Mutiny, and the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Pittsburgh Spirit. Child was a long-time North American Soccer League(NASL) and MISL All-Star, where he played several seasons for the Pittsburgh Spirit. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Klein has been with the Riverhounds almost continually, since the beginning. He was the goalkeepers coach under Kowalski and Haaskivi.
Jason Kutney, Director of Youth Soccer Development.
Chris Shovlinis the team's radio play-by-play announcer on WPIT-AM 730 in Pittsburgh, as well as the Director of Publicity and Communications. Shovlin and his former on-air partner Steve Bell won the 2003 Pittsburgh AIR (Achievement in Radio) Award for Best Play-By-Play for their call of a Riverhounds' win over the Indiana Blast. It was Shovlin's second AIR Award (he and Jeff Waller won the 1998 award for their call of Robert Morris University Football). He is a member of the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame.
Anna Arlotta, Group Sales Manager
Scott Gibson, Director of Academy Operations.
Garrett MacKenzieand Lauren Kochirka, Corporate Support Representatives.
* John Kowalski (1999)
* Tim Carter
* Gene Klein (2006-current)
Novemberof 2007, the "Steel Army" was formed when their first meeting was held at Piper's Pub in Pittsburgh's South Side. The group started as 5-10 local people interested in supporting the reorganized Riverhounds Football Club and to support the efforts of growing the sport of soccer in Western Pennsylvania. The group has since in a short amount of time grown from those humble beginnings, with the steel army message board active daily with members discussing the Hounds, events, meetings, and the international game of football. Members are not only from Pittsburgh but also from states as close as Ohio to states as far away as Oregonand Florida. Membership in the Steel Army is now even international with members joining the group from Sunderlandand Surreyin the U.K., As well as Bray, in the Republic of Irelandwho will be following the Riverhounds from abroad.
The section of Chartiers Valley High School Stadium where the Steel Army stands and supports the Riverhounds from is called "The Yard". Supporters of the Hounds are welcome to join the Army in "The Yard" on game day to chant and sing the hounds onto victory!
The main song of the Steel Army is "Consider Yourself At Home" from the musical "
Oliver!". In fact, the phrase "One Of The Family" is a motto of the Steel Army, and it can be found on many of items that the Steel Army produces. The song is sung by the Army with scarves held high when the players enter the field for matches.
The Steel Army has a rivalry with the Green Army, the Supporters Club of the
Cleveland City Stars. The rivalry and intensity between the Riverhounds and the City Stars on the pitch has carried into the stands. The Steel Army travels in mass to Cleveland when the two teams meet and the Green Army travels to Pittsburgh for the matches between the two teams as well. It can be argued that these two supporter groups are the best traveled supporter groups in USL-2.
* USL Pro Soccer League Atlantic Division Champions - 2004
* [http://www.riverhounds.com/ Pittsburgh Riverhounds]
* [http://www.steelarmy.com Steel Army Supporters Group Message Boards]
* [http://academy.evertonfc.com/ The Everton Way: Everton Training Online]
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