We have a few more new signings of young, recent college players that will be added to the 2017 Pittsburgh Riverhounds roster.
Forward John Manga and defender Ritchie Duffie have been added for the 2017 season pending USL and USSF approval. Both contracts include a club option for 2018.
Invited on trial earlier this month, Manga and Ritchie come to the club after competing collegiately at the University of Cincinnati and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), respectively.
The two additions to the club give the Hounds five players officially under contract for the upcoming 2017 season. Manga and Duffie join returners Kevin Kerr and Chevaughn Walsh, as well as recently signed goalkeeper Keasel Broome.
“John is a talented, physical forward, who also has a great touch on the ball and great sense of the game tactically as well,” said head coach Dave Brandt.
“Ritchie is a tall, talented player, who has a great ability to utilize his speed and lengthy strides get up and down the field really well. He’s a converted attacker, who has a great attacking sense, but is also very good in the back from a pure defending standpoint.”
At Cincinnati, Manga tallied 16 goals in 41 starts over a four-year career. He was a two-time All-American Athletic Conference honoree, earning first team honors in 2014 and a second team nod in 2015.
Manga saw action in all four years competing for the Bearcats, most notably netting 10 goals during his junior year in 2014. In addition to two assists to give him 22 total points on the season, Manga led the conference in goals and points and was the first Bearcat to reach double-digit goals since 2007. Along with the All-Conference honors that season, Manga’s efforts also earned him a spot on the All-Ohio second team.
Prior to Cincinnati, Manga starred at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, where he was a three-time All-State selection and 2010 state champion. His senior year at Henry Clay in 2011 saw him tally 40 goals and 13 assists en route to National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American honors and Kentucky High School Soccer Coaches Association Mr. Soccer recognition.
Manga is originally from Bunia in the Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was drafted this past season by the Colorado Rapids in the fourth round (63rd overall) of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, but was released during the preseason after sustaining a lower-body injury.
For Duffie, he competed as a midfielder for three years at VCU from 2012-14, notching three goals and three assists in 36 starts.
The Virginia Beach, Virginia native originally transferred to VCU from North Carolina Wesleyan, where he spent a year with the Bishops in 2011. He started in 17 matches for the Bishops, scoring four goals and two assists.
Duffie joins his brother and former teammate at VCU, Devon Fisher, in the USL. Fisher currently plays for Seattle Sounders FC 2 in the Western Conference.
The trial was the first of two official tryouts for the Hounds this offseason, as the first round saw 23 players invited to train alongside several members of the 2016 pro team including Kerr and Walsh. Next up will be the club’s open tryouts on December 9-10 at Highmark Stadium.