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Preseason primer: Hounds add match Friday vs Dukes; 17 trialists set for first week

As outlined in our latest edition of the Riverhounds SC Notebook, the club opens its 2020 training camp this week, starting with a training session from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3 at Highmark Stadium.

We now have the full list of 17 hopefuls that will join the 15 players on the Hounds roster for the first week of training camp. In addition, the Hounds have added a preseason match this week. as they’ll take on Duquesne University men’s team on Friday night to open the preseason before battling Villanova University at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9.

Both preseason matches will take place at Highmark Stadium.

Hounds Roster (15 players) 

Forwards (3): Steevan Dos Santos, Lukas Fernandes, Mark Forrest, Ropapa Mensah

Midfielders (4): Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Dani Rovira, Anthony Velarde

Defenders (5): Xhelil Asani, Jordan Dover, Ryan James, Mark Lindstrom, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Tony Walls

Goalkeepers (1): Anthony Mwembia

Players on Trial (Preseason Week 1) 

This is a very large group of trialists — and in this group — one name may stand out among those from the area: Mario Mastrangelo, who excelled at Peters Township and with Beadling, then at St. Francis (PA) University, where he finished his collegiate career in 2018 as NEC Player of the Year, then signed with Des Moines, where he scored two goals in five USL League Two matches in 2019. 

As expected, the list of trialists includes a hodgepodge of players  — some with pro experience and some that will be coming right out of college.

Name | Pos  | Ht | Wt | Hometown (Previous Club)

  1. Adrien Awana D 5-11 208 Bordeaux, France (Manhattan College)
  2. Ettore Ballestracci F 6-0 165 Sarzana, Italy (University of Charleston WV)
  3. Dakota Barnathan D 6-2 165 Massapequa, N.Y. (Ottawa Fury FC)
  4. Brandon Bartel M 5-10 165 Fleming Island, Fla. (University of Pennsylvania)
  5. Youness Benmouna M 5-8 155 Germantown, Md. (Frostburg State University)
  6. Sam Biek M 6-3 186 Marburg, Germany (Western Michigan University)
  7. Albert Dikwa F 5-11 161 Garoua, Cameroon (Saint Louis FC)
  8. Tim Dobrowolski GK 6-3 194 Rockford, Ill. (Louisville City FC)
  9. Evan Finney GK 6-0 141 San Francisco, Calif. (Real Monarchs SLC)
  10. Joe Kellett M 5-11 150 Norfolk, Mass. (Boston College)
  11. Griffin Mallas D 6-3 180 Las Vegas, Nev. (Drexel University)
  12. Mario Mastrangelo M 5-11 160 Venetia, Pa. (Saint Francis University PA)
  13. Patrick Okonkwo M 6-0 174 Lagos, Nigeria (Atlanta United 2)
  14. Roko Prsa M 5-10 154 Sisak, Croatia (UMass Lowell)
  15. Sean Reynolds D 6-1 181 Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Saint Louis FC)
  16. Skylar Thomas D 6-4 198 Scarborough, Ontario, Canada (Valour FC)
  17. Danny Vitiello GK 6-2 185 Massapequa, N.Y. (Nashville SC)





Fri. 7 Duquesne University 7 p.m.

Sun. 9 Villanova University 2 p.m.

Sat. 15 Penn State University 2 p.m.

Wed. 19 University of Pittsburgh 7 p.m.

Sat. 22 University of Akron 2 p.m.

Wed. 26 Loudoun United FC 12 p.m.




Mon. 2 @Columbus Crew SC 1 p.m.

Sat. 7 Toronto FC II 2 p.m.

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).

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