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Best of 2018: Pittsburgh Soccer Stories

Will Thompson in NCAA Division II Men's National Championship - Photo by Ed Thompson

During the course of the past year, we took various in-depth profiles and features of the people, places and organizations connected to the many facets of soccer in our region from the pros to the youth level.

Here are some of our best features from the past year, including a few on Riverhounds players, but also included in this is Rachael McKriger‘s profile of Veronica Latsko, who made her pro debut this year and a feature on Will Marshall, who came back to play at Highmark Stadium for West Chester University in the NCAA Division II men’s national championship.

We are looking forward to sharing more feature stories in 2019.

Latsko thrives in her first year as a pro

Veronica Latsko hails from Venetia, Pa., in Washington County — and after an outstanding four-year run at University of Virginia she spent her first season in the NWSL with the Houston Dash. This fall, she caught up with our Rachael McKriger to share her story.

Former Peters Twp, UVA standout Latsko reflects on challenging, rewarding rookie season as a pro

Dependable’s Got Nothing on Kenardo Forbes

At the end of the USL regular season, Mark Goodman penned this terrific feature on the one player who emerged at the Riverhounds SC’s most dependable play maker – Kenardo Forbes.

Dependable’s got nothing on Kenardo Forbes


Pittsburgh’s Venerable Soccer Warrior

Prior to the season, I wanted to write a feature about the longest tenured Riverhound, Kevin Kerr, who moved to Pittsburgh in 2013 prior to the Hounds inaugural season in 2013, and has become a fixture with the franchise.

Kevin Kerr: Hounds’ venerable soccer warrior at home in Pittsburgh

Docked and Ready

Once the preseason began, it provided another opportunity to get to know Joe Greenspan a little bit better, so after spending some time with the big man upon his return to Pittsburgh in 2018 after playing for the Hounds on loan in 2017.

Greenspan’s docked and ready for duty in Pittsburgh


From Poland to Pittsburgh

John Kowalski has done it all. It was great to catch up with the long-time coach, who is still doing his thing as coach of the Robert Morris University women’s team and also coaches the Fort Pitt Regiment of the NPSL.  Kowalski’s storied coaching career includes stints as the Head Coach of the United States Men’s National Team, Major League Soccer’s Tampa Bay Mutiny and Robert Morris’ men’s program.

#PGHSOCCER STORIES: From Poland to Pittsburgh, coaching legend Kowalski lives out 'American Dream'

Versatile Frenchman Ascends as mainstay for Hounds

The story of Thomas Vancaeyezeele is a fascinating tale. For one thing, it shows how difficult it is to make the jump from college soccer to Major League Soccer, as Vancaeyezeele may have been overlooked by MLS scouts, but found a place in Pittsburgh where he would thrive in his first full season as a professional. Vancaeyezeele would go on to lead the Riverhounds in games played, starts and minutes played.

Vancaeyezeele quickly ascends as mainstay in Hounds’ midfield


Marshall Cherishes his return to his hometown

For the first time ever, the NCAA Division II men’s and women’s soccer championships were played in Pittsburgh in December, and there was one student-athlete who would come full-circle, marking a return to hometown, Pittsburgh roots by playing in the NCAA Final Four and National Championship game. Here’s a feature on Will Marshall, who is from North Versailles, attended East Allegheny High School and University of Pittsburgh.

Marshall cherishes return to hometown vying for NCAA DII title with West Chester



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).

Sounding Off on Soccer: Riverhounds Road Woes

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