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New Hounds: Club signs defender Skylar Thomas and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello

Photo by Jared D. Todhunter

New Hounds: Club signs defender Skylar Thomas and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello

The Riverhounds boosted its roster on Tuesday, announcing the signing of two players that have been on trial with the club since preseason began: veteran defender Skylar Thomas and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.

Each player was signed to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season, pending USSF and USL Championship approval.

Both Thomas and Vitiello have trialed with the team since the opening of camp at the beginning of February.

Thomas comes to Pittsburgh after playing one season for Valour FC of the Canadian Premier League. He started 21 of his 22 appearances with the club.

“Skylar is an experienced defender in our league,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “He is exceptional in the air and a very strong 1-v-1 defender who we are excited to bring on to our team.”

Before playing in Canada in 2019, Thomas played four seasons at the USL Championship level. From 2017-18, he suited up for the Charleston Battery, making 48 appearances for the club over two seasons. He made an additional 47 appearances for Toronto FC II from 2015-16. The center back holds 95 games played and five goals for his USL Championship career.

A product of Syracuse University, he was drafted by Toronto FC with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He did not make an MLS appearance, as he signed a contract with affiliate Toronto FC II.

The Scarborough, Ontario, Canada native also has five caps (five starts) and one goal for the U-23 Canada National Team, which occurred during 2015 Olympic qualifying.

Meanwhile, Vitiello spent the 2019 season, his rookie campaign, with Nashville SC. The goalkeeper did not appear in a match with Nashville.

“Danny is a young goalkeeper with good habits and a bright future,” Lilley said. “He is a very capable shot-stopper who also has a good ability to play out of the back with his feet.”

From 2014-18, the Massapequa, New York native competed for the University at Albany. After redshirting his freshman season, he made at least 10 appearances in his remaining four years. He saw much of his success during his junior campaign, when he posted 10 clean sheets and a .879 save percentage in 15 games played en route to a 0.50 goals-against average.

Vitiello completed his collegiate career at Albany with 60 games played, 0.98 goals-against average, .784 save percentage and 24 shutouts.

Riverhounds SC now has 17 players under contract for the 2020 season.

 

Roster breakdown for 2020 season:

Forwards (4): Steevan Dos Santos, Lukas Fernandes, Mark Forrest, Ropapa Mensah

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

Defenders (7): Xhelil Asani, Jordan Dover, Ryan James, Mark Lindstrom, Skylar Thomas, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Tony Walls

Goalkeepers (2): Anthony Mwembia, Danny Vitiello

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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