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Kickin' it around the 'Burgh

Latsko scores for Dash, Dortmund reps visit Pgh, PSU-Behrend coach walks for charity & more

Latsko scores for Dash, Dortmund reps visit Pgh, PSU-Behrend coach walks for charity & more

Yes — the Riverhounds are still unbeaten.

Believe it or not — there’s a lot of other news happening in and around the Greater Pittsburgh Soccer scene.

In this edition of Kickin’ it around the ‘Burgh, we have some news about a local soccer non-profit that provides programming to at-risk population in Pittsburgh and a men’s soccer coach who walked from Erie to Pittsburgh to support his daughter and the Make-A-Wish Foundation — and more!

At the bottom of this feature we’ll regularly post schedule of games/events of note in “This Week in #PghSoccer“.

Also, just thought I’d throw this in there — even if the U.S. is not involved — we’re officially one month away from FIFA World Cup!

First things first — this week I’ll be traveling up Route 79 on Wednesday, along with Pgh Hockey Now and Riverhounds play-by-play man Matt Gajtka, to bring you coverage for the Hounds-Erie Commodores 2nd Round Open Cup match at Gannon University.

Matt will be bringing the action during the game’s live stream on USSoccer.com. I’ll be joining him during the pre-and-post game coverage.

We’ve also learned today that the winner of this match would host the winner of FC Cincinnati-Detroit City FC in the third round of the Open Cup.

But lets get to some of that non-Riverhounds’ news….

 

BORUSSIA DORTMUND-BENFICA AT HEINZ FIELD

Shortly after the announcement that Borussia Dortmund and Benfica will be playing as part of the International Champions Cup at Heinz Field on July 25, representatives from Dortmund were in Pittsburgh.

A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to catch up with Dortmund’s International Director, Benedict Scholz, former star Patrick Owomoyola, and Matt Kontos from Relevant Sports.

All of these interviews are available on a special preview podcast that I did with Mike Sparks.

PODCAST: Previewing Dortmund-Benfica match at Heinz Field 

We discussed what having games like this means to Pittsburgh, the Christian Pulisic effect, and more!

We will have a lot more coverage as we get closer to the July 25th match — including an more in-depth preview show and also in-game and post-game reports from Heinz Field on that day.

PITTSBURGHERS IN THE PROS 

Veronica Latsko (Houston Dash – NWSL) – The former Peters Township/Beadling and Century standout scored the game winner in Houston’s first win of the year last week against Sky Blue FC.

Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns, NWSL) The 2015 World Cup champion from Gibsonia has played and started in all six games in her third season with NWSL’s defending champion Portland Thorns.

Frannie Crouse (North Carolina Courage, NWSL) – The former Penn State and Greensburg Central Catholic scoring machine has yet to get on the field, but was on the line-up card for three of North Carolina Courage’s games in the early portion of the NWSL season.

 

PSU-BEHREND COACH WALKS FOR DAUGHTER WITH CEREBRAL PALSY

Photo courtesy Cranberry Eagle

Dan Perritano will be pushing his daughter Emma, 19, who has cerebral palsy, in a three-wheeled buggy.

“She waves to every car that goes by,” Perritano said to Cranberry Eagle last week.

The pair walked from Erie to Pittsburgh, walking south on Route 19, to raise money for Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

More than raising money for charity, Dan and Emma, who is nonverbal, like to walk.

That’s their main motivation.

“We just like to walk,” Perritano said. “She likes to be in the buggy. I have a job that gives me so much flexibility. A few years ago we said, let’s start attaching some projects to this.”

Perritano works as men’s soccer coach at Penn State Behrend, a job that also keeps him in shape for their trips.

This is not the first time they’ve don this — as the first charity walk was in 2015, when they walked across Pennsylvania, following Route 6 about 360 miles, to raise money for the Arc of Erie County, a chapter of a national organization that provides support and programs to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Perritanos arrived Saturday in Pittsburgh, just in time for the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community Pittsburgh, a 5K walk that benefits 78 area health and human services organizations, including the local Make-A-Wish Chapter.

To donate to the Perritano’s cause, visit this link for Make-A-Wish.

GATEWAY HEALTH PROVIDES HEALTH EDUCATION & AWARENESS SESSIONS FOR AT-RISK SOCCER PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

Gateway Health Plan has recently made a very generous donation of $12,760 to support Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community, a local non-profit offering  dedicated to providing at risk communities in Pittsburgh with access to tuition free-soccer programs and lifestyle education in their local neighborhoods.

In conjunction with this ongoing collaboration, Gateway community representatives will host several upcoming health education and awareness sessions for those participating in PSC.

While building the fundamentals of soccer skills, the program also aims to teach life skills that support participants’ development both on and off the field. By eliminating barriers and creating opportunities, the program hopes to build stronger, more confident individuals.

“The goal of PSC is to bring people from all around the world together alongside Pittsburgh natives,” said Haji Muya. “To know who your neighbors are while bringing different cultures together and enjoy each other’s company.”

Muya is currently the Assistant Coach of Arsenal FC of PA U-8s team and the Assistant Coach mentor for the Pittsburgh Somali Bantu Community Team — and is an alumnus of the PSC program who joined the staff in 2012.

Maya is a Somalian refugee who has experienced the direct impact and connection to the community that a donation like the one Gateway Health has made.

“As a community-focused managed care organization, we are excited to give back to PSC and former players such as Haji who have become the face of a donation like this,” said Judy Sapos, Manager of Corporate Responsibility and Partnerships for Gateway Health, who also presented the check on behalf of Gateway to the PSC.

“We are thrilled to sponsor their Summer Soccer League because it does so much to bring many cultures together – while helping to establish and create lifelong friendships among those who play.”

Erick Nishimwe, one of the players in the refugee league, agreed with Muya’s thought that a sport like soccer, which is widely regarded as most popular sport in the world, combined with the structure and organization like PSC, helps unite the diverse cultures and communities of Pittsburgh.

“It’s a really great thing, especially for me because I come from a different continent and country and I am able to meet new people,” Nishimwe said. “I get to know them very well, even though we have a different language, and see how they play.”

As part of the donation, Gateway will also have their logo included on PSC jerseys.

Click here for Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community’s web page

MORE YOUTH NEWS

Congrats to Arsenal’s girls teams that won a tournament this weekend!

We’ve also received word that the 2001 Boys Riverhounds Development Academy team has climbed to 4th place in the National Rankings.

LOCAL COMMITMENTS

We may be well past the National Letter of Intent Day — but there are still area soccer players making college commitments. Here are a few from Beadling that have made their choices recently:

MASTER LEAGUE STANDINGS

In the coming weeks, we should have the dedicated links for both the Pgh Master League — and the Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League standings available for view on Pittsburgh Soccer Now!

In the meantime, here are the most updated standings from the PA-West Masters Leagues…

PREMIER

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SERIE A

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Tartan Devils Recycled before match at Highmark Stadium

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BUNDESLIGA

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WEEK AHEAD IN #PGHSOCCER

Wednesday, May 14

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Erie Commodores (U.S. Open Cup – second round) – 7 p.m. – Gannon University

Saturday, May 19

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Tampa Bay Rowdies, 7 p.m. – Al Lang Stadium

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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