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Pulisic joins Hounds coaching staff, reuniting with Lilley

Riverhounds have announced the addition of Mark Pulisic to the coaching staff as assistant coach for the 2018 season. Pulisic joins the club after spending the past season working under current head coach Bob Lilley in the same capacity with the Rochester Rhinos.

“After entertaining a few other coaching opportunities for the upcoming season, knowing what Bob brings to a club, and deciding where I would feel most comfortable, Pittsburgh seems like the perfect fit,” Pulisic said. “I look forward to helping the Riverhounds find success in 2018, as Bob and I strive to bring a championship to the city.”

Ties between Pulisic and Lilley began prior to the 2017 season with Rochester, where they were first teammates together at George Mason University in the late 1980s and then again with the Harrisburg Heat of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in the 1990s. They also worked at the Detroit Ignition of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) during the 2007-08 season.

“Mark will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff,” Lilley said. “He also understands all the small details that are necessary on and off the field that help players develop and teams be successful. We are very fortunate to have him join us in Pittsburgh for the 2018 season.”

Pulisic holds nearly two decades of coaching experience at various levels. He began his career at NCAA Division III Lebanon Valley College in 1993 as head coach of the men’s program and also founded the women’s program in 1996. Pulisic remained with Lebanon until 2005, which also included a brief stint with the Harrisburg City Islanders as an assistant coach in 2004.
He made the move to the MISL in 2006 to take over head coaching duties of expansion franchise Detroit Ignition. His first season with the club proved wildly successful, as the Ignition reached the league final en route to Pulisic earning Coach of the Year honors.
Following the 2006-07 campaign, Pulisic took over Director of Soccer Operations in Detroit and in turn hired Lilley as head coach for the club’s 2007-08 season.
Father of current Borussia Dortmund and U.S. Men’s National Team player Christian Pulisic, Pulisic relocated to Germany after his son was signed by the Bundesliga side in 2015 and hired to work with the academy. He remained there until returning to the states to join the Rhinos in February 2017.
Pulisic’s professional playing career coincided with the beginning of his coaching career, as he spent time with the Heat from 1991-99. Playing alongside Lilley for a bulk of that time, Pulisic was eventually inducted into the Heat’s Hall of Fame after tallying 296 goals for the club.
A native of Long Island, New York, Pulisic’s decorated playing career extended to the collegiate ranks as well, where he competed for George Mason University from 1986-89 and was voted into the Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame.
In addition, Lilley announced assistant coach Dan Visser and goalkeeping coach Hunter Gilstrap will return to the coaching staff for the upcoming season.

“I’m very happy to welcome back Dan and Hunter to the staff for this season,” Lilley said. “Both are talented individuals and provide a level of continuity from last year’s squad to this year’s. Alongside Mark, I feel this group gives us the best chance of success in 2018.”

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for 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 US. 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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