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Great Dane: Hounds add USL Championship’s all-time leading scorer Dane Kelly

Photo courtesy Charlotte Independence / USL Championship

The Riverhounds SC have added the USL Championship’s all-time leading scorer to a roster that also includes the league’s all-time leading assist man.

Riverhounds SC has signed veteran striker Dane Kelly, the USL Championship’s all-time leading goalscorer, to a one-year deal with a club option for 2023. The deal is pending USL and U.S. Soccer Federation approval.

Kelly, 30, has been synonymous with success in the USL Championship, winning a championship with the Charleston Battery in 2012, the Golden Boot and league MVP with Reno 1868 FC in 2017, and running his record goal haul to 99 regular-season goals since first entering the league in 2011 with the Battery.

“Dane is a top-level pro in the USL and a proven goal scorer. He will add more quality to a very strong group of attackers, and we’re excited to welcome him for the 2022 USL Championship season.,” Riverhounds coach Bob Lilley said.

A native of St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica, Kelly began his career in his homeland with Tivoli Gardens FC and was initially loaned to the Battery before making a permanent move to Charleston. After five years and 42 goals with the Battery from 2011-15, he would spend time in USL with Swope Park Rangers — now Sporting Kansas City II — in 2016, Reno 1868 FC (2017), Indy Eleven (2019) and the Charlotte Independence (2020-21).

Outside of the USL, Kelly spent 2018 under contract with D.C. United in MLS, spending part of the season back in the USL Championship on loan with the Richmond Kickers. He began 2021 with Bnei Sakhnin in the Israeli Premier League before returning to Charlotte in May.

Kelly’s strength has been his consistency as a finisher, logging seven double-digit goal seasons during his career with a career-best of 18 during his MVP season in Reno.

Kelly also has made four appearances with the Jamaican National Team since debuting with the Reggae Boyz in 2017. He recorded a goal and an assist in his second international match, a 2-2 draw with South Korea, and later added his second international goal in a Concacaf Nations League qualifier against Bonaire.

Back to the Drawing Board: A New Year to bring more Riverhounds SC player signings

With the addition of Kelly, the first new signing announced for 2022, the Hounds now have 12 players under contract. The team’s roster will continue to fill out ahead of the start of preseason, with camp slated to begin on Jan. 31.

Kelly joins a talented group of attackers that includes Russell Cicerone, Alex Dixon, Albert Dikwa and the USL’s All-Time leading assist man and fellow Jamaican, Kenardo Forbes.

 

 

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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