The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have ensured that they will close 2016 with having nearly a full roster — as they announced the signing of two recent college standouts on Thursday.
The Hounds inked one-year deals with midfielders Ben Fitzpatrick and Victor Souto, pending USL and USSF approval. Both deals include an option for the 2018 season.
Fitzpatrick, 22, comes to Pittsburgh after competing collegiately for The Ohio State University and Urbana University, while Souto, 23, joins the club from the University of Akron.
It appears that these two young additions will provide depth to a Riverhounds midfield that includes a number of established, returning veterans like Kevin Kerr, Danny Earls and Mike Green.
A native of Hilliard, Ohio, Fitzpatrick starred at midfield for Urbana before transferring to Ohio State for his senior year. Fitzgerald, who also helped the Michigan Bucks capture the 2016 Premier Development League title, provides the Hounds with depth in a midfield that includes a number of returning veterans.
“I was able to catch Ben at multiple combines over the past couple months and on each occasion I thought he was really good, one of the top guys there,” said head coach Dave Brandt. “I think he’s an under the radar, smart player that we like a lot with an ability to attack with good speed and good pace.”
Souto, a Sao Paolo, Brazil native, made 66 career appearances, all starts, with the Zips.
Here are some highlights of the Brazilian midfielder — mostly from his time in Akron.
Playing both in the attack and defensive midfield, Souto finished his collegiate career with nine goals and three assists. He was named All-Mid-American Athletic Conference (MAC) on two occasions, as well as OCSA All-Ohio First Team in 2014.
“Victor is a top Division I college soccer talent,” Brandt said. “He’s a talented holding midfielder that we’re really excited to have join the club for this season.”
For a complete review of all of the Riverhounds signings prior to this week’s additions of Souto and Fitzpatrick and the announcement of Green’s return, here’s my in-depth feature – Riverhounds Roster Beginning To Take Shape.
The Hounds now have 20 players signed to the current 2017 roster. Interestingly, they only have one goalkeeper (Keasel Broome), still have the potential to add more players from MLS affiliation with Columbus (nothing’s been announced yet) as there are only so many roster spots to go around.