The Pittsburgh Riverhounds signed an affiliation partnership with the Houston Dynamo of the MLS last November, and they’re about to reap some of the benefits.
Pittsburgh announced Monday that Houston prospects Anthony Arena, Jason Johnson and Bryan Salazar would be joining the club prior to Saturday’s USL Pro league opener at Orlando.
The additions are pending United States Soccer Federation approval, but there’s no reason to believe they won’t go through. Johnson and Salazar are forwards, while Arena is a central defender.
Johnson, a 23-year-old Jamaican, has the most pro experience out of the three, as he appeared in 13 games for the Dynamo last season after being drafted No. 13 overall out of Virginia Commonwealth University. Johnson started four games for Houston, scoring one goal.
Johnson has international experience to go with his domestic playing time, competing in three games for the Jamaican national team and five CONCACAF Champions League matches while wearing Dynamo orange.
Arena is also 23, and he was drafted by Houston last year, too. After playing in 79 matches during a four-year career at Wake Forest, Arena appeared in one MLS game last season.
The 19-year-old Salazar is a different case. The Houston native climbed the ranks of the Dynamo’s development program for six years before getting promoted to the big club last summer. Salazar played in one U.S. Open Cup match during the 2013 season and will look for more pro experience on the South Side.
Here’s a highlight reel – compiled by the Dynamo – of Salazar’s best moments:
After two matches on the road, the Riverhounds open their USL Pro home schedule Apr. 12 against Wilmington at Highmark Stadium. Pittsburgh qualified for the playoffs in its first year in the league before being knocked out by eventual champion Orlando City.