Highmark Stadium in Station Square will host its first-ever international soccer match on Friday, July 19 as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer club will take on Wigan Athletic FC of England in an exhibition at 7 p.m.
Wigan, the current FA Cup holders, will be participating in a 10-day preseason tour of the United States that will also see them take on the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer on July 13. An additional game may be scheduled as part of the tour.
This event will be the first international game in downtown Pittsburgh since AS Roma of Italy’s Serie ‘A’ league fell to the English Premier League’s popular Chelsea club at Heinz Field in July of 2004, in front of 25,137 fans.
In addition, Wigan will have an open training session on July 18 led by recently hired manager, Owen Coyle. Fans with tickets to the match will get to meet the team for autographs and photo opportunities following the session, including the chance for fans to snap shots with the FA Cup trophy.
Coyle said on the team’s web site: “The opportunity came up for us to go to the States and was too good for us to turn down. The players will love the facilities over there which are first class and it is a great way for us to begin our pre-season preparation in readiness for August 3.”
Wigan is the current holder of England’s most storied trophy, the FA Cup, following their 1-0 defeat of Manchester City at the end of the 2012-2013 season. In winning the Cup, Wigan has earned a spot in the UEFA Europa League where they will compete against Europe’s top club in the coming year.
In addition, there will be fireworks after the match to light up the Pittsburgh skyline. Tickets for the match will go on sale Monday, July 1. Visit Riverhounds.com for more information.
The Riverhounds announced on Tuesday night the addition of Connellsville businessman Terry Shallenberger as the newest member of their ownership group.
Shallenberger, 46, became involved with the Riverhounds in his efforts to bring new soccer facilities and a new training mode for youth players in the Connellsville area. His joining the ownership group will allow the team to expand the team’s youth academy regional footprint east of the city. Shallenberger’s ownership will help provide new resources for local athletes to participate in the area’s only professional soccer organization.
The Hounds USL PRO match against the Wilmington Hammerheads that is set for Saturday, July 20 will now be rescheduled for Sunday, July 21 at 3:00 p.m. If patrons are unable to make the rescheduled game, full refunds will be provided for them.