Riverhounds re-sign Romeo Parkes; Corey Hertzog, Keasel Broome leaving club
One of the Riverhounds' most recognizable players of the past two seasons is coming back, while another is on his way out.
The Riverhounds announced Wednesday that it had agreed to new terms with Jamaican striker Romeo Parkes, putting him under contract for 2018 with a team option for 2019, but shortly after the team announcement came word that Corey Hertzog, the team's top scorer of the past two seasons, would not be returning.
Onto the next chapter!! Thank you pittsburgh for the last two years. pic.twitter.com/GDJaPZxaqM— Corey Hertzog (@Hertzog_Corey) December 6, 2017
Parkes, 27, returned to the Riverhounds last May after his first stint with the team ended in controversy.
He was handed a six-month ban by FIFA for kicking an opponent in the back in May 2016 but given a second chance by the club, he returned, saying at the time, "It's a good chance for me to redeem myself for the Pittsburgh community and the (Jamaican) national team."
In total, Parkes has eight goals in 30 games with the Riverhounds, a total limited somewhat because former coach Dave Brandt preferred to deploy Parkes as a midfielder rather than a forward because of his on-ball skills. The team originally held an option on Parkes for next year, but with the arrival of new coach Bob Lilley, the team declined that option and negotiated a new deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're excited to have Romeo back for the 2018 season," Lilley said in a statement. "We think he can be one of the most dangerous forwards in this league with his power, pace and ability to beat players off the dribble."
Hertzog announced his decision to move on and explore free agency on his Twitter account, posting a photo from last season with the message: "Onto the next chapter!! Thank you pittsburgh for the last two years." The 27-year-old Penn State product and Reading native was the team's top scorer each of the last two seasons with 13 and 14 goals, respectively, earning All-USL Second Team honors both years.
Hertzog spent time earlier in his career in MLS with the New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps, and after posting his highest goal totals as a pro the past two seasons, MLS and other USL clubs could be potential destinations.
Barbadian international goalkeeper Keasel Broome also announced Wednesday on his Twitter account that he would not be returning to the team in 2018.
"Thank you to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for everything in 2017. I will not be returning for 2018 and wish the club and staff all the best moving forward," the tweet read.
Matt Grubba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.