Riverhounds announce partnership with Houston of the MLS
The dream of joining the MLS is still years from coming true for the Riverhounds, but next year's team will have its share of MLS players.
The Riverhounds and MLS club Houston Dynamo announced Tuesday a partnership that will result in the Dynamo sending a minimum of four players on loan to the Riverhounds for the 2014 USL Pro season.
Riverhounds CEO Jason Kutney and Dynamo president Chris Canetti were at Highmark Stadium to announce the deal, which is designed to boost player development for both franchises.
“I don't think we could have picked a better partner or had a better partner to enter negotiations with than Houston,” Kutney said. “The big thing is the player loan, which will bring in four players that don't hit our payroll, so that's certainly a net gain for us.”
The Dynamo previously fielded a team in the MLS Reserve League, but Houston elected to do what four MLS teams did last season and pursue a partnership with a USL Pro franchise for 2014. MLS management recommended the Riverhounds and talks between the two clubs began, which led to the deal.
“We have some players in mind that would be suited for this, but we also have a college draft coming up. We're going to go into camp with guys fighting to make the first team, and we'll make our decision then,” Canetti said.
“Our reserve league now is only 10 games, and the games are spread out. You end up having guys who aren't prepping for a game every week. It will be good to have guys competing for jobs, going through training and playing in games, whether it's starting or coming off the bench.”
Last season was the first year MLS teams were able to partner with USL Pro clubs, and the results were immediate for some teams.
Houston was stopped from reaching a third consecutive MLS Cup final by losing the Eastern Conference championship 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City. Kansas City's goals were scored by C.J. Sapong and Dom Dwyer, two players who spent much of the season in USL Pro with Orlando before returning to MLS.
“The players that they're going to loan to us, we're definitely going to give them a good home and help them develop in their careers, and we hope they'll help us win a championship,” Riverhounds coach Justin Evans said. “This is going to further us as a professional club.”
The deal also will allow the Riverhounds to travel to Houston for its preseason and train at the Dynamo's facility at Houston Sports Park. The potential for a friendly match or matches between the teams also exists, but those plans have not been finalized.
The Riverhounds also made another announcement regarding player development. The club will have a franchise in the USL Premier Development League, a national amateur league for players predominantly younger than 23. The PDL team also will be called the Riverhounds, and the club is in the process of hiring a coach to work with the PDL team and its academy system.
“When I played college ball at Duquesne, there was no opportunity to stay (in Pittsburgh) during summer and compete at a high level. I went back to New Jersey and New York to play in the PDL there,” Kutney said. “It's the most direct route for a young player at the college level to reach the pros.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
- ‘Last of the downtown mansions’ demolished in McKeesport
- 1 intruder killed, another injured in Carrick home invasion
- Standoff ends with Fayette City man’s suicide
- Moody’s downgrades Pa. rating; Corbett ponders pension reform session
- UPMC McKeesport president reiterates hospital will remain open
- Squirrel Hill street that had been paved getting another pave job
- McCandless residents voice opposition to Wal-Mart plan
- Ukrainian festival will go on in McKees Rocks despite crisis in homeland
- Derry Township assault suspect arrested
- PNC Park concert prompts officials to make changes