Pittsburgh Riverhounds open 2013 season on the road

It is time for soccer to rise up at Station Square. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds will open the 2013 USL PRO season on the road this Saturday, April 6 as they head to Richmond, Va., to take on the Kickers at City Stadium. The game will get underway at 7 p.m.

Then, the Riverhounds will make soccer history in Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. when the team opens its 14-game home schedule at the new Highmark Stadium against the in-state rival Harrisburg City Islanders. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds play in the National Division of the USL Professional Division, the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid.

After the home opener, the remaining 13-game home schedule will bring league opponents the Phoenix FC Wolves on May 9; the Dayton Dutch Lions on May 18; the Antigua Barracuda FC on May 24: the Rochester Rhinos on June 1; the Charleston Battery on June 15; the Antigua Barracuda FC on June 23: the Charlotte Eagles on July 4; the Los Angeles Blues on July 6: Orlando City on July 17; the Wilmington Hammerheads on July 20; the VSI Tampa Bay FC on August 11; and finally the Richmond Kickers on August 17.

In addition, Pittsburgh will host the Toronto FC Reserves, a Major League Soccer Reserve League team, on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. This game is part of the new multi-year partnership, announced earlier this year, to bring interleague play between the USL PRO and MLS Reserve League teams. All inter-league games will count in both the official USL PRO and MLS Reserve League standings.

HOUNDS HAPPENINGS: Along with their 14-game home schedule, Pittsburgh will play 12 games on the road for a total of 26 this season. The Hounds finished 4-15-5 during the 2012 USL PRO season.

Head Coach Justin Evans has been with the team since January 2010, and also holds the distinction of being the first player ever signed by the Riverhounds organization back in 1999.

Pittsbugh is coming out of a “closed doors” preseason at Highmark Stadium. In their seven preseason exhibition games in March, the Riverhounds won six and tied one. The highlight was a 1-0 victory against their USL PRO region rivals, the Rochester Rhinos.

The Riverhounds added central defenders Andrew Marshall and Anthony Vazquez to the roster in the offseason. Marshall spent the last two seasons with Hounds’ inter-state rival; the Harrisburg City Islanders. Vazquez played for the Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League last season.

On offense, the Hounds added the 2011 USL PRO Goal and Scoring Champion, Jhonny Arteaga to the team. Last season, Arteaga was a forward with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.

Pittsburgh also signed midfielders Felix “Alfonso” Motagalvan, Michael Seamon, and Ryan Kinne in the off-season. Motagalvan played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL in 2012. Seamon spent 20 games with the Seattle Sounders FC of MLS. Kinne played with the Connecticut FC Azul of the USL Premier Development League in 2012.

The newcomers join up with a core group of returning Riverhounds in midfielder and captain Richard Costanzo, outside defender Sterling Flunder, forward Mike Seth and goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap.

With a new stadium and a clean slate in the standings, the Hounds are ready to rock the river in downtown Pittsburgh.

Tags: Pittsburgh Riverhounds

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