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Riverhounds sign MLS veteran Ngwenya

| Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 8:32 a.m.

The Riverhounds aren't holding back when it comes to adding pieces to build a title contender.

The team announced Tuesday the signing MLS veteran and former Zimbabwean international midfielder Joseph Ngwenya for the 2014 season.

Ngwenya, 32, was a finalist for the USL Pro MVP award last season with Richmond, the USL Pro regular-season champions, after scoring nine goals and five assists in 20 games. His move to the Hounds was motivated by the drive to win a championship.

“I think what made the team appealing is their ambition. They want to be one of the best teams in the USL and want to win a championship,” Ngwenya said. “The setup there is very professional, and the fans are very noisy in the new stadium. That made it the most appealing for me.”

Prior to his lone season in Richmond, Ngwenya had played 118 matches for four MLS clubs since being named a first-team All-American at Coastal Carolina in 2003. A striker coming out of college, he was selected third in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.

Ngwenya also has played for Austrian top division's Austria Kärnten and Turkish top division's Antalyaspor, and he had a three-week trial with German powerhouse Bayern Munich, during which he appeared in one exhibition match.

In 2008, Ngwenya played five matches for his native Zimbabwe during 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

“Joe will bring a wealth of experience to the squad this year,” Hounds coach Justin Evans said. “He is a player who we think will come in and add even more power to our offense in 2014.”

Ngwenya's signing comes one week after the club finalized its re-signing of leading scorer and USL Pro MVP Jose Angulo. The Riverhounds now have two of the league's three MVP finalists.

“With some of the other guys they're trying to bring in, it seems like they're putting together a championship team,” Ngwenya said. “Also with the chance to play with the MVP of the league, I'm happy about coming there.”

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