Pittsburgh Riverhounds Notebook: Open Tryouts, Gilstrap Returns


The challenge to become part of the Beautiful Game is coming soon. The annual open tryout for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds is Thursday, Dec. 3 and Friday, Dec. 4.

The event is at the new Allegheny Health Network Sports Complex, which is at Cool Springs in Bethel Park.

There appraising the abilities of the eligible college players, free agents, and amateurs over the two days are head coach Mark Steffens and his staff. They will have plenty of training and practice contests as part of the process to assess the athletes.

There are two who emerged from this evaluation in the past. The one is current Riverhounds assistant coach and former defender Niko Katic. The second is 23-year-old midfielder Nick Kolarac, who is a native of Pittsburgh. The pair each claimed a pro contract with the Hounds after attending open trials.

The trials for both days run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost of the tryout is $125. The payment goes up to $150 for late registrations collected after the Thanksgiving holiday. The athletes need to give full payment along with a completed registration form before being accepted.

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You can can visit the Riverhounds website here to get started with the registration. You can also contact operations manager John Rotz at (412) 325-7239 or email opentryouts@riverhounds.com for more information relating to the open trials.

One place on the roster the tryout could help is at goalkeeper. Both veteran Ryan Thompson and rookie Callie Brown have expressed their intentions to play elsewhere next season. It leaves only one goalie on the roster in Ryan Hulings.

The 24-year-old Hulings participated in his first pair of USL regular-season contests in 2015. The 6-foot, 190-pound goalkeeper, who is from Dayton, Ohio, also made two appearances for the Hounds in U.S. Open Cup action.

Here is a look at the Riverhounds and the Allegheny Health Network complex:

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From The Clipboard: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds disclosed last week that Hunter Gilstrap has returned to the organization as director of the Goalkeeper Academy training program. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound goalie from Asheville, North Carolina played for Pittsburgh for five campaigns from 2010 through 2014 before moving to the Carolina RailHawks for the 2015 season.