Conor Branson will be returning to University of Charleston as a graduate assistant coach. (Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Riverhounds)
In some more roster shuffling — the Pittsburgh Riverhounds added two new players to the roster as two others move on this season.
The Hounds added Melvin Snoh and Pittsburgh native Anthony Virgara will return to the team for the third time — while midfielder loanee Ben Swanson was officially placed on the Season-ending Injury List by the Columbus Crew and midfielder/defender Conor Branson will return to his alma mater, University of Charleston, as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s soccer program.
After after undergoing successful right should surgery at the end of July, Swanson’s season has been cut short. The Crew homegrown product made five appearances for the Riverhounds, totaling 179 minutes played.
Branson appeared in 14 games for the Hounds, scoring one goal and adding an assist for three points on the season.
With the return of Virgara, the Hounds now have three players from the Pittsburgh-area on their roster: Virgara (Seton LaSalle/Keystone Oaks HS), Nicky Kolarac (West Allegheny) and goalkeeper Brendan Alfery (Central Catholic)
Here’s the full release from the Riverhounds:
Pittsburgh Riverhounds have made two more in-season additions to their roster, adding midfielder Melvin Snoh and defender Anthony Virgara for the remainder of the 2016 season.
Snoh joins the club after spending the past four seasons competing for Georgetown University, while Virgara makes the jump up from the Hounds’ Pro Development League (PDL) squad to the pro team for the third time in his professional career.
“These are two young players that we wanted to take a good look at,” Brandt said. “They not only bolster our depth for the remainder of this season, but this also gives us a really good chance to evaluate them for the future. We have been thin recently due to injuries and so forth, so both Anthony and Melvin will provide important depth for us moving forward.”
Snoh, who grew up in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, played in 74 matches as a Hoya at forward, including 17 starts, accumulating 11 points. His first-career goal collegiately came in the NCAA Tournament, as he notched the game winner in a 3-1 victory over San Diego.
Prior to Georgetown, Snoh had a stellar prep career at Malvern Prep High School, where CollegeSoccerNews.com ranked his recruit status as high as No. 67 and he was a finalist for 2011 Pennsylvania Player of the Year. At the club level, Snoh competed for Penn Fusion. He captained the squad for two seasons and won three state titles, including reaching the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship final in 2011.
Originally from Monrovia, Liberia, Snoh also spent time as part of the Philadelphia Union Academy and appeared in a contest against Everton F.C. Academy.
For Virgara, he joins the Riverhounds for the third time in his career. The Pittsburgh native originally joined the Hounds PDL team in 2014 after competing collegiately at Marshall University. He made a brief appearance for the pro squad, including his pro debut in the penultimate game of the 2014 season at the Charleston Battery onAugust 30.
In 2015, Virgara signed onto the pro team and appeared in six games, totaling 74 minutes. He then returned to the PDL for this year, where he has played in nine games at forward, leading the U23 squad in goals with three.
At Marshall, Virgara played in 63 matches, including 44 starts, as primarily a midfielder/forward. Virgara totaled 15 career points for the Thundering Herd. His sophomore season was his most notable, as he recorded career highs in goals (3) and points (8) – both second highest on the team – for Second Team All-Conference USA honors.
Virgara’s prep career consisted of competing locally at first, Seton-La Salle from 2005-07, and then Keystone Oaks in 2008.
Of note, midfielder loanee Ben Swanson was officially placed on the Season-ending Injury List by the Columbus Crew after undergoing successful right should surgery at the end of July. Swanson made five appearances for the club, totaling 179 minutes played.
The Hounds have also agreed to mutually part ways with midfielder Conor Branson, who will return to his alma mater, University of Charleston, as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s soccer program. Branson appeared in 14 games for the Hounds, scoring one goal and adding an assist for three points on the season.
The club expects both Snoh and Virgara, who will wear No. 19 and 32, respectively, to be available for Friday’s match against Louisville City FC at 7 p.m.
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, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the United States. 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).