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Hounds’ Ezra Armstrong sold to MLS expansion club St. Louis City FC

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Riverhounds SC announced Tuesday that they’ve completed the sale of outside back/winger Ezra Armstrong to St. Louis City SC of Major League Soccer for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Armstrong, 24, was signed to the club ahead of the 2021 season, as a promising young player with plenty of upside. 

Hounds sign promising young players Ezra Armstrong and Chris Morrish

The former Sporting KC Academy product, who played as a youngester with its USL club, Swope Park Rangers, then played in Germany and Denmark, appeared in 14 matches last season for the Riverhounds with 11 of those appearances coming in the second half of the season.

He recorded two assists during his time in Pittsburgh, both in a 5-0 win over Loudoun United FC on Sept. 11. The Hounds picked up the team option on his contract for a second season in a roster move announced Dec. 8.

St. Louis City SC is scheduled to begin play in MLS in the 2023 season, but the team will field a squad in the third-division MLS Next Pro league beginning in 2022.

Armstrong is the second player who was with the club last year who the Hounds had picked up contract option for the 2022, who is no longer on the squad.  Todd Wharton announced his retirement last month.   

The Hounds, who are beginning the second week of their preseason today, have 14 players under contract currently as they prepare for their March 12 season opener at Memphis 901 FC.  

Preliminary Takeaways from Armstrong Going to St. Louis City FC

With the signing of Robby Dambrot, and potential emergence of additional players the Hounds have brought to preseason camp on trial, this may be a case where it’s a win-win situation for both parties involved.  Hounds’ Head Coach Bob Lilley and his staff must feel very comfortable with their options at left back and on the left wing, as Dambrot has proven himself at this level. 

Armstrong showed flashes where he could become a solid left back for the Hounds in his second season with the club.  However, the MLS club also saw his potential, and will be able to use this coming season to give him a chance to play regularly within their developmental club.  

This move also provides the Hounds with some more flexibility for 2022 payroll, as they’ll still have to sign more than another half dozen players at minimum.  

Here’s a look at the Hounds current roster following the departure 

  • Goalkeepers (0) — None
  • Defenders (6) — Robby Dambrot, Jelani Peters, Dani Rovira, Shane Wiedt, Jesse Williams, Mekeil Williams
  • Midfielders (3) — Kenardo Forbes, Danny Griffin, Angelo Kelly-Rosales
  • Forwards/Wingers (5) — Russell Cicerone, Albert Dikwa, Alex Dixon, William Eyang, Dane Kelly

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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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