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Hounds make a big splash in USL Championship’s ‘Team of the Week’ honors

Photo Courtesy NY Red Bulls II

For the first five weeks of the USL Championship season, the league’s weekly honors were conspicuously absent of representation from one of its longest enduring franchises.

The Riverhounds SC more than made up for it this week, with three players, Danny Griffin, Dani Rovira and Alex Dixon each earning USL Championship Team of the Week honors, along with another, goalkeeper Danny Vitiello, getting a spot on the bench.

The Hounds were well represented in earning USL honors after an impressive 3-0 victory against New York Red Bulls II this past Friday at MSU Soccer Park.

Griffin opened the scoring up in the 22nd minute as he finished up a cross into the box from Albert Dikwa. It was the first goal of the season for the second-year midfielder, who also finished a perfect 4 of 4 in tackles and had nine recoveries and three interceptions in his role holding the center of the park.

Dixon had a goal and an assist in the match, as he scored his first goal as a Hound off a cross from Rovira in the 29th minute of play. Dixon’s no-look assist, when he set up Russell Cicerone in the 50th minute to extend the lead to 3-0, helped land the strike as a nominee for USL Championship Goal of the Week.

Rovira got his first assist of the season on Dixon’s goal, as the defender turned in an excellent two-way match. In addition to getting forward on the wing, he recorded four interceptions, won four tackles and won 10 duels, all while providing excellent cover against speedy New York attackers Roald Mitchell and Omar Sowe.

In addition to the three named to the Starting XI, goalkeeper Danny Vitiello was named to the Team of the Week bench after recording four saves and his first clean sheet of the 2021 season against New York.

On Monday, we caught up with Dixon to get his thoughts on his big performance over the weekend.

Riverhounds SC (1-2-1) will next play Loudoun United FC (1-2-0) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Segra Field. The match will be televised on ESPN+.

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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