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Eight Men In: Riverhounds SC exercise contract options for returning core

In mid-November, when Pittsburgh Soccer Now reached out to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Head Coach Bob Lilley for our annual early season sit-down interview, he said he needed a bit more time this year to get things sorted out.

“Should have a clearer picture on where we are, and where we are headed,” Lilley explained about checking back in with him in early December.

Sure enough, the Riverhounds SC today revealed initial roster plans ahead of the 2020 season, as the picture has cleared up just a tad.

The team has elected to pick up contract options of eight players:

Those players include: Steevan Dos SantosKenardo ForbesMark ForrestRyan JamesRobbie MertzDani RoviraThomas Vancaeyezeele and Anthony Velarde.

“We are currently assessing the market for potential free agent USL acquisitions as well as continuing conversations with our players who are out of contact,” Lilley said through a team statement. “In addition to holding combines primarily for college players, we are also looking at foreign players who have not previously played in the USL Championship. Although we feel good about our returning core, we recognize the importance of building on the successes of the last two seasons with an even stronger roster in 2020.”

Six players had their options declined by the club: Prosper FigbeSammy KahsaiAustin PackCaleb SmithUchenna Uzo and Christian Volesky.

The subsequent nine players are currently out of contract: Tobi AdewoleNeco BrettMouhamed DaboJordan DoverNoah FrankeJoe GreenspanKevin KerrKyle Morton and Todd Pratzner.

This past weekend, the Hounds held their annual open tryouts, which had more than 80 athletes participate. The club will hold its invitational trial this coming Saturday and Sunday.

We’ll have more reaction from today’s news on Pittsburgh Soccer Now, as Mark Goodman, will provide his reaction and thoughts, plus he’ll be starting a series taking a deeper look at the Hounds’ depth chart by position throughout December.


RIVERHOUNDS 2020 ROSTER (as of December 4, 2019) 


Steevan Dos Santos

Mark Forrest



Thomas Vancaeyezeele

Robbie Mertz

Kenardo Forbes

Anthony Velarde

Dani Rovira



Ryan James




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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