On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced the news that Pittsburgh Soccer Now and The Bent Musket reported earlier in the week: former University of Pittsburgh standout forward Edward Kizza will be joining the Riverhounds SC on loan from the New England Revolution for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Kizza’s loan deal is for the remainder of the 2022 season and is pending USL and U.S. Soccer Federation approval.
Kizza, a native of Uganda, was the Revolution’s first-round pick (24th overall) in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft and signed with the team after a successful three-year career at the University of Pittsburgh during which he scored 31 goals in 53 games.
“Eddie is a player who has trained with our group in the past and excelled during his time at Pitt. He is a goal scorer with good movement, instincts, and finishing ability that we are excited to bring back to Pittsburgh,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said.
In 2021, Kizza split time between the MLS team and New England Revolution II in USL League One. He made 11 appearances with one assist for the Revolution and scored five goals in 12 games with the reserve side. This season, Kizza began the year in the USL Championship on loan with Memphis 901 FC, where he played 111 minutes across eight appearances before being recalled by New England.
With the addition of Kizza, the Hounds now have four former Pitt players on their active roster. He joins former college teammates Robby Dambrot, Arturo Ordóñez and Shane Wiedt back in Pittsburgh.
The Hounds are in action again this Saturday when they travel to face New Mexico United for the first time at 9 p.m. in Albuquerque, N.M.
Instant Analysis: Impact of Adding Edward Kizza Addition
If you’ve followed Pittsburgh soccer closely in the past five years, you will know the impact the Edward Kizza had on the University of Pittsburgh men’s soccer program. Kizza provided a presence that caused some of the top collegiate programs in the ACC many headaches. Not only did Kizza score goals at an impressive rate, but often times he came up big in the biggest moments.
Pitt’s first ever postseason win in the ACC came on the strength of two Kizza goals.
In total, Kizza delivered 31 goals, many of those against the best competition in college soccer.
The addition of Kizza adds depth to a rotation at center forward that includes the USL Championship’s All-Time leading scorer Dane Kelly, third-year Hound Albert Dikwa and 28-year old William Eyang.
Dikwa has carried the load in terms of minutes played and starts in the past two months, and has been solid, producing six goals and doing a lot of the dirty work. While Kelly started off the season strong, with six goals but has been playing less minutes through the middle portion of the season.
Bringing Kizza on provides insurance and another scoring option for the Hounds.
Lilley has told Pittsburgh Soccer Now on several occasions that he really likes a lot of Kizza’s attributes, including his strength, skill and instincts, and believes he’ll be a solid player with the Riverhounds.
What the addition of Kizza, 23, may also do is take some of the burden off the legs of Dikwa, who has started five of the last seven matches, while the Hounds can have another center forward option who can adapt into a high pressing system, cover a lot of ground and is adept and dangerous in holding the ball up and making runs behind and into gaps in the defense.
It also may provide Lilley and the coaching staff with more tactical options, like playing two or even three forwards in the starting lineup, while utilizing the club’s leading scorer the past two seasons, Russell Cicerone, as an attacking midfielder or a winger. It could also mean more opportunities for Alex Dixon to play from width and even as a dangerou option at outside back.
Should be fun to see how Kizza progresses with the Hounds and if he can further bolster the rotation and squad depth.