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Hounds re-sign Fitzpatrick, add two more keepers, but Chevy Walsh is gone

The Riverhounds roster is starting to round into form ahead of the early February preseason start date.
On Friday, the Hounds announced the addition of three more players who earned spots on the club after impressing during recent off season combines.
The club additions include the re-signing of midfielder Ben Fitzpatrick along with a pair of goalkeepers — Mike Kirk and Kyle Morton. 
All three have signed one-year deals with a club option for the 2019 season, pending USL and USSF approval.
The Hounds also confirmed on Friday that Chevy Walsh is no longer with the team, as noted in my piece for DK Pittsburgh Sports.
As well as the signings of Fitzpatrick, Kirk and Morton, head coach Bob Lilley said he will bring several other players from the combine to training camp, set to kick off on Feb. 5.

“The group we signed from our combine were solid throughout,” Lilley said. “We’re excited and made it a point to get them on board right away. It will also be interesting to have a number of trialists from our combine invited into preseason to show what they can do against our contracted guys.”

Fitzpatrick, 23, rejoins the club after making nine appearances (four starts) for the Black and Gold as a rookie in 2017. The Hilliard, Ohio native made his professional debut at the Charlotte Independence on April 15. Prior to joining the Hounds, Fitzpatrick played collegiately for Ohio State University and Urbana University and also had a stint with PDL side Michigan Bucks.

“Ben was consistently dangerous throughout the combine and showed a creative flair that we’re looking to incorporate into our team,” Lilley said.

Kirk, 23, spent the past season with the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in the USL’s Western Conference. A native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, he played collegiately at La Salle University from 2012-16.
Signing with Rochester prior to the 2017 season, Morton, 23, returns under Lilley and reunites with teammate Dan Lynd in goal. Also a Pennsylvania native (West Chester), Morton spent five seasons at James Madison University – he earned a medical redshirt during his sophomore season – where he was an All-Colonial Athletic Association standout.

“Mike and Kyle really stood out to us among the group of four keepers during the combine,” Lilley said. “With Dan, this is a very strong trio that are all young and have bright futures. We certainly expect to have heavy competition in training camp.”

Full details on the roster for 2018 can be found below from information from the Hounds release on the player signings, with the one new omission – Chevy Walsh. 
Roster breakdown for 2018 season
Forwards (2): Kay BanjoRomeo Parkes
Midfielders (4): Ben Fitzpatrick, Kenardo ForbesChristiano FrançoisKevin Kerr
Defenders (4): Tobi AdewoleJordan DoverJoe GreenspanRaymond Lee
Goalkeepers (3): Mike Kirk, Dan LyndKyle Morton

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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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