After two years with the Riverhounds SC, midfielder Mouhamed Dabo was announced as the newest member of Reno 1868 FC on Friday as the Senegal native will be moving over to play for the Western Conference club for the 2020 USL Championship season.
Dabo spent the past two seasons with the Hounds, making 48 appearances, starting in 35 of those matches, as a solid, defensive midfielder always willing to do the dirty work, winning duels, tackles and always finding a way to get the ball back.
With his ability to close down defenders and regain possession in the middle of the field, Hounds coach Bob Lilley used Dabo both as a defensive midfielder, but occasionally higher up in the formation to disrupt opponents trying to play the ball out of the back. Dabo led Pittsburgh in tackles in 2018 with 80, and despite an injury that kept him sidelined for nearly two months in 2019, still made 24 appearances. Over two years with the Riverhounds, Dabo appeared in 48 matches, starting 35.
PITTSBURGH SOCCER NOW’S MO DABO PHOTO GALLERY
“Dabo’s a player that covers a lot of ground in the midfield,” said 1868 FC Head Coach Ian Russell. “He can play multiple spots with his athleticism and quickness, and he’s very technically skilled.”
The 23-year-old began his USL Championship career with Penn FC, where he played two seasons before signing with Riverhounds SC. He is also a former member of the Senegal U-17 National Team and came out of the Inter Milan system as a youth player.
MOST MEMORABLE MO DABO RIVERHOUNDS SC MOMENT
Against Tampa Bay in August 2018, Dabo scored his only Pittsburgh goal, and it was a dandy.
From the holding midfield, Dabo sprinted toward the opposing penalty area.
As a pass from Neco Brett rolled his way, Dabo blasted a shot from just outside of the 18-yard box. Weaving through traffic, the ball would reach its destination – the back of the net.
The goal, which gave Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC a 1-0 lead before it ultimately tied the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-1, was a special one for Dabo.
It marked his first career professional goal and points.
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) August 23, 2018
“I’m very happy for scoring for my team,” Dabo said after the match against the Rowdies. “[Mark] Pulisic and Bob [Lilley], they did a lot for me. I can tell this year I’m improving a lot with them. They talk to me. They try to always help me improve my game.”
After celebrating his goal on the field with his teammates, Dabo exemplified the affection he has for his coaches while running toward the team bench and embracing Pulisic.
“We’re all happy for Dabo,” Pulisic said. “He’s worked extremely hard. He’s such a blue collar, hardworking kid. It’s neat as a coach, I think he came over and shared it with us. It really does mean something for us because he feels we’re helping him.”
Meanwhile this weekend, Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley and his staff will be overseeing a couple days of invitational tryouts as the begin looking at building the club’s roster up for the 2020 season. The Hounds did announce that they’ve exercised contract options for eight players that will return to the club next season.
“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 last week.
The Hounds did re-sign midfielders Robbie Mertz, Kenardo Forbes, Anthony Velarde and Dani Rovira.
In addition to Dabo, numerous other Hounds that are unrestricted free agents include: Tobi Adewole, Neco Brett, Jordan Dover, Noah Franke, Joe Greenspan, Kevin Kerr, Kyle Morton and Todd Pratzner.
Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s Mark Goodman took a deeper look at what the Hounds biggest off season needs are after settling on its eight men in.
Keep up with all the latest Riverhounds SC news and off season transactions on Pittsburgh Soccer Now. John Krysinsky will also be sharing more from his one-on-one interview with Bob Lilley later next week.