After the Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced that Romeo Parkes would be returning to the club on Friday, almost a year after having his contract terminated and receiving a world-wide ban from FIFA, DK Pittsburgh Sports Founder and Columnist Dejan Kovacevic told me “we have to talk to Parkes.”
Sure, enough, not only did Kovacevic speak with Parkes, but he also covered all the bases on Friday, tracking down Parkes’ agent, Damone Priestley, Riverhounds owner Tuffy Shallenberger, team head coach Dave Brandt, along with a few Hounds players, to document Parkes’ quest to return to Pittsburgh for a shot at redemption.
Exclusive: Globally humiliated, Romeo Parkes returns to the one place he can find real redemption
Kovacevic also tackles a few other questions — including what did Karl Ouimette say to provoke Parkes’ outburst.
It appears on social media, that some Riverhounds faithful are not happy with the move, and there are others who are okay with giving the Jamaican striker a second chance.
Former Hounds head coach, and an original player and Pittsburgh native, Justin Evans, even posted his displeasure with the organization that sacked him in 2014 after a poor start.
“Very disappointed in the Riverhounds Organization with this decision. If the youth is the top of the pyramid (as it has been for years), your compass is way off…give his spot to a player from the youth academy and teach them what it means to be a pro!” said Evans, who played with the Hounds from inaugural season in 1999 to 2001, and 2007-09, and was head coach from 2011-2014.
Others were surprise that the Hounds, and Shallenberger, in particular, would bring back a player that they clearly indicated that they didn’t want back.
I’ll be following up on this story and provide my thoughts on most specifically, how the Riverhounds (3-3-2, 11 points) — who currently sit in 4th place in 15-team USL’s Eastern Conference — will utilize Parkes, and what they’ve looking at doing tactically as they enter the second quarter of their 32-game league season.
Parkes is expected to return to training with the team on Tuesday.
The team’s next game is at Ottawa on Saturday, May 13, at 2 p.m.