The Riverhounds SC have added two more promising young players to its roster — as they announced on Thursday the signings of defender Mark Lindstrom and goalkeeper Anthony Mwembia — each to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season, pending USSF and USL Championship approval.
Lindstrom, a product of UNC Wilmington (UNCW), and Mwembia, a product of Bowling Green State University, both participated in the club’s invitational trials this past Dec. 7-8.
During his time at UNCW, Lindstrom never played less than 16 games during a season and was named United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region Second Team as a junior and senior — and was an all-conference selection every season.
“We feel Mark has all the traits to become a solid contributor on our back line,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “He reads the game well, is solid in the tackle and comfortable on the ball.”
A native of Gavle, Gastrikland, Sweden, Lindstrom, who stands tall at 6’3″ — and 200 lb — finished his collegiate career at UNCW (2016-19) with 68 games played (65 starts) and two goals. He is the only player in program history to earn All-Colonial Athletic Association four times.
— Mark Lindstrom (@MarkDaSilvaL) January 16, 2020
Meanwhile, Mwembia capped his collegiate career with United Soccer Coaches All-North Region First Team honors after captaining his squad to the Mid-American Conference Tournament Final as a senior.
The goalkeeper made an impact since he joined the program, earning the starting role as a freshman. Throughout his career with the Falcons (2016-19), he averaged 16.5 games played and 6.5 shutouts per season, including an impressive performance against Duquesne this past season.
“Anthony is a well-rounded goalkeeper with the ability to make the big save,” Lilley said. “He is a player who we feel can develop quickly in our environment.”
The Toulouse, France native ended his Bowling Green career with 66 games played, 1.04 goals-against average, .759 save percentage and 26 shutouts. He also played with USL League Two side, FC United (Chicago). He joins Thomas Vancaeyezeele as the second Frenchman on the Hounds’ squad.
Takeaways from Lindstrom and Mwembia Signings
Lilley said he was impressed with at least six field players and two or three goalkeepers from the invitational tryout in December, and was eyeing signing a few, and bringing more on trial in when preseason starts on February 1.
Now, he’s signed three players from his preliminary tryouts. As the Hounds also signed pacy attacking midfielder Lukas Fernandes right out of college in December.
Lilley is banking on bringing in young players that he hopes will work well with the veteran core that’s returning. The addition of Tony Walls, a former captain for Lilley’s Rochester Rhinos USL Cup winning team in 2015, has added to the squad’s mix of veteran and youth presence.
Both players should fit into Lilley’s scheme, the question will be, as the competition will be fierce for playing time, can each make enough of an impression to crack the starting lineup regularly in positions that will likely be up for grabs at the start of the preseason.
Lindstrom is a big-bodied central defender, who is good with the ball at his feet, and possesses a strong soccer IQ. Mwembia’s signing is in line with Lilley’s recent history of bringing in younger, hungry goalkeepers who will battle for playing time early in the season.
Riverhounds SC now has 12 players under contract for the 2020 season.
Roster breakdown for 2020 season:
Forwards (3): Steevan Dos Santos, Lukas Fernandes, Mark Forrest
Midfielders (4): Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Dani Rovira, Anthony Velarde
Defenders (4): Ryan James, Mark Lindstrom, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Tony Walls
Goalkeepers (1): Anthony Mwembia