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Earthquakes loan 1st round pick Williamson to Hounds

Earthquakes loan 1st round pick Williamson to Hounds

With perhaps one of the last pre-season additions to the roster before embarking on the 2021 campaign, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds picked up a young talent in former University of California forward Tommy Williamson on Friday. The 21-year-old Williamson is on loan from MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes.

Williamson was the 12th pick of the 2021 MLS Superdraft, but the Quakes have elected to send Williamson on a season-long loan to the Hounds rather than see the youngster battled experienced veterans like Chris Wondolowski for playing time up top. He is the first MLS loanee to join the Hounds since 2019, when the Columbus Crew sent Ben Lundgaard to Pittsburgh for most of the year.

“We are grateful to the Earthquakes’ technical staff for trusting us with Tommy’s development in the early stages of his pro career,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said. “He is a talented young striker with good mobility and tactical awareness that will fit well with how we want to play. We are excited to have Tommy on board for the 2021 USL season representing our organization and the city of Pittsburgh.”

Williamson had 9 goals for Cal in 2019 in 18 games; Cal, along with the rest of the teams in the Pac-12, did not play college soccer in fall, 2020. The Golden Bears are a perennial force in college soccer, and have produced pro players including Calen Carr, Stefan Frei, Steve Birnbaum, and Nick Lima. The striker will be fighting for time with a deep pool of Riverhounds forwards, as the team returns Albert Dikwa from last years squad and has added Russell Ciccerone, Alex Dixon, and Josh Gatt. Just this week, the Hounds also announced the signing of Chicago Fire academy member Wyatt Borso. Borso will train with the first team, but his USL academy contract allows for him to retain his NCAA eligibility as an amateur.

The Hounds are in the final stretch of the pre-season this week. They travel to Indianapolis Saturday to face Indy Eleven at 1pm, and next week, Saturday May 1, they host former USL Championship team Philadelphia Union II in their final tuneup match of the Spring.

The season opener against the Tampa Bay Rowdies takes place on May 8, away at historic Al Lang Stadium.

Image of Tommy Williamson c/o Cal Bears website

Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

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