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Hounds sign promising young players Ezra Armstrong and Chris Morrish

Erza Armstrong (Photo courtesy of Sporting KC / Swope Park Rangers)

From Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC report

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC added to its back line with the signing of a pair of young players, defender Ezra Armstrong and goalkeeper Chris Morrish, for the upcoming season. Both players are signed for 2021 with a club option for 2022, pending USL and USSF approval.

“Chris and Ezra are talented young players that we feel will grow quickly in our environment,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said. “Chris came into our combine at the end of January, and Ezra trained with our group at the end of last season. We look forward to having them on board for the 2021 USL season.”

Armstrong, 22, has primarily played left-back since first making the leap to the pros at age 17, when he was signed by USL Championship side Swope Park Rangers directly out of the Sporting Kansas City academy. He made his first two pro appearances during the 2016 season with Swope Park, but Armstrong didn’t see his first regular action until a move in 2018 to German club Türkspor Augsburg, where he scored four goals in 25 appearances for the lower-division side. Most recently, Armstrong was under contract with Skovshoved, which finished its season in the Danish Second Division last July. The Gastonia, N.C., native is the son of former United States international Desmond Armstrong, who made 81 appearances for the U.S., including starting all three matches in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Morrish, 23, is a recent graduate of Calvin University, where he helped the Knights reach the 2019 NCAA Division III semifinals, where they fell to eventual champion Tufts. Hailing from Bradenton, Fla., Morrish played two seasons at Calvin after transferring from Trinity (Texas). He accumulated a 33-4-1 record with 16 shutouts at Calvin, as he allowed just 26 goals in 40 total appearances (39 starts).

His team’s deep postseason run in 2019 included a shootout win in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association final, their sixth straight MIAA title. Morrish made two saves during the shootout after a 0-0 draw to defeat Hope, led by former Riverhounds head coach Dave Brandt.

Morrish did not get to play his senior year at Calvin, as the 2020 fall season was wiped out due to Covid-19. The signings bring the total number of players under contract for the Hounds in 2021 to 14, as Lilley and his staff continues to fill out the roster with the start of the USL regular season slated for just over two months away.

Look for more analysis on these signings from Pittsburgh Soccer Now in a separate post.

Riverhounds 2021 Roster and Depth Chart

F1Russell Cicerone (M)
F2Albert Dikwa
F3Alex Dixon (M)
F4Tommy Williamson
F5Wyatt Borso
F6Josh Gatt (out for season)
M- also have played in midfield
MF1Kenardo Forbes (F)
MF2Danny Griffin
MF3Todd Wharton (D/OB)
MF4Anthony Velarde (F)
MF5Louis Perez (F)
F- also played at forward
D- also played as defender
OB- also played as outside back
OB1Dani Rovira (M)
OB2Ezra Armstrong
OB3Jordan Dover (injury)
(M) also played midfield
CB1 Shane Wiedt
CB2Mekeil Williams
CB3Preston Kilwien (OB)
CB4Jalen Robinson
CB5Jelani Peters
CB6Tom Judge
CB7Casey Bartlett-Scott
OB- also played at outside back
GK1Danny Vitiello
GK2Jake Leeker
GK3Chris Morrish


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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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