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Adding more defensive depth, Hounds bring back Todd Pratzner

Todd Pratzner (23) returns to the Riverhounds SC (Pgh Soccer Now file photo)

Adding more defensive depth, Hounds bring back Todd Pratzner

Already posting one of the stronger defensive units in the USL Championship, the Riverhounds SC announced Wednesday they’ve added some valuable depth to its back line by signing defender Todd Pratzner for the remainder of the 2019 season, pending USL Championship and USSF approval.

Pratzner, who played for Riverhounds SC during the 2018 campaign, rejoins the Black and Gold after a stint with Memphis 901 FC during the first part of this 2019 USL Championship season. This will mark his third different season suiting up under head coach Bob Lilley.

Thus far in 2019, the 25-year-old had played 10 games (eight starts) for 743 minutes while with Memphis. He also carries 40 clearances, seven interceptions and five blocks with him to the Black and Gold.

During his previous season with Pittsburgh, Pratzner started all 17 of his games played for 1,506 minutes. In addition, he posted his first career professional point with the Hounds at this time, assisting the team’s game-winning goal against Ottawa Fury FC on July 8, 2018.

The Xavier University product began his professional career under Lilley with the Rochester Rhinos in 2017, appearing in 13 matches.

WHAT DOES THIS ADDITION MEAN?  

Currently the Hounds depth chart at center back includes Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele and Uchenna Uzo, and that’s it. Vancaeyezeele plays in a variety of positions and roles, and started last week at outside back. He can also play as a holding or central midfielder.  Uzo has played sparingly this season (only five appearances) and has been on and off the game day roster for much of the last month.

With Pittsburgh playing a stretch of games that includes five matches in a two week period beginning Saturday, Lilley has an added option now at center back.  In addition, there might be some uncertainty to the status of Vancaeyezeele as has been part of CONCACAF League of Nations play.  Vancaeyezeele was with French Guiana as group play began between September 5-10.  Group play for French Guiana is scheduled to continue October 10-15 and also November 14-19.

In addition, both Greenspan and outside back Jordan Dover are both sitting on four yellow cards. Based on USL Discipline policy, accumulating a fifth yellow card carries a consequence of having to serve a one-game suspension.

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including 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 United States. 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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