USL: Crew SC Announce Affiliation with Pittsburgh Riverhounds

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Columbus Crew SC has announced an affiliate partnership with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL.

The agreement ends Pittsburgh’s run of disassociation with an MLS franchise and opens the door for MLS Academy prospects to play games as loanees in the 2016 USL season.

“Pittsburgh’s values on and off the field – from ownership to the coaching staff – are like-minded and exactly what we are looking for in a partnership,” said Gregg Berhalter, current CCSC Head Coach and Sporting Director. “Their head coach Mark Steffens is a Hall of Fame coach and we feel Pittsburgh will be a strong environment for success in the development of some of our younger professionals.”

Last season, the Riverhounds were one of the more consistent teams in the Eastern Conference, finishing in fifth place and pushing New York Red Bull II to the brink in an exciting first round playoff loss. Players such as Rob Vincent have found it to be an great place to grow with one of the more up to date stadium facilities in the league.

Having a history that spans all the way back to the USL A-League in 1999, the Riverhounds have forged relationships with English clubs like Everton and tried new ways to develop players for the game in the United States. They also play in one of the more up-to-date venues in the lower divisions, Highmark Stadium. It is a 3,500 seat stadium with the capability of expanding to 18,000 should a successful bid to MLS come to fruition.

“Our coaching staff is thrilled to be affiliated with one of the best organizations in MLS,” said Riverhounds Head Coach Mark Steffens. “This is an opportunity for our entire club to learn from Columbus both on and off the field, help to develop young loanees into well-rounded professionals and men of integrity and to strengthen our roster for another USL playoff push in 2016.”

 


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