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Hanging up his boots: Hounds’ veteran midfielder Todd Wharton announces his retirement

In an unexpected turn, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC roster for the upcoming season lost one valuable veteran, as midfielder Todd Wharton announced his retirement  through a club statement and via his Instagram account on Tuesday.

Wharton, 27, joined the Riverhounds before the 2021 season and was a steady contributor and versatile piece of the team throughout the season. He appeared in all 32 matches and scored four goals while moving between multiple midfield roles and occasionally stepping in as a defender.

“First, I’d like to say think you to the fans for making Pittsburgh such a great place to play and supporting us through everything. To Bob and the staff, thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for such a great organization in my final season. And lastly, thank you to my teammates for a season I will always cherish,” Wharton said.

“Todd Wharton will most certainly be missed — a player with great habits, the right mentality and a good understanding of the game who was well-respected by his teammates and a big part of our success in 2021,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said. “The Riverhounds organization is grateful for his efforts and wish Todd and his family the best moving forward to their next chapter.”

Wharton, originally from Glen Allen, Va., was a 2014 NCAA Champion at the University of Virginia and finished his four-year career with the Cavaliers in 2015. He signed with the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros before the 2016 USL season, and he would remain in South Texas for three seasons before continuing his career with the Portland Timbers 2 (2019), Saint Louis FC (2020) and the Hounds.

An everyday contributor with each club in his career, Wharton finishes having played 142 regular-season matches and recording 16 goals and 13 assists in the USL Championship.

During last season, his first and only campaign in Pittsburgh, Wharton was generous to share his insights on his experience in Pittsburgh and his career in this interview.

Factoring the loss of Wharton, who’s contract option the club intended to pick up for 2022, the Hounds’ roster currently has 10 returnees, plus the addition of free agent Dane Kelly, the USL Championship’s all-time leading scorer.

 

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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