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Drive for Five: Dani Rovira re-signs for 5th season with Hounds

Riverhounds SC and defender/midfielder Dani Rovira have agreed to terms on a deal that will bring the Colombian back to Pittsburgh for a fifth season in 2023.

The deal, which contains a club option for 2024, is pending USL and U.S. Soccer approval.

Rovira, 26, joined the Hounds before the 2019 season as a first-year pro out of the University of Vermont. From a small role in his first year, Rovira has grown to be one of the most versatile pieces to head coach Bob Lilley’s team, logging appearances primarily at either outside back position but also as a holding midfielder and an outside midfielder.

“Dani brings versatility, energy and a solid work ethic to our group. Every year with us, he has grown and become increasingly valuable in the big moments and in the locker room,” Lilley said.

Last season was Rovira’s best statistically with a career-high five assists, as he appeared in all but three USL Championship matches. That came on the heels of setting career marks for starts (20) and minutes played (1,788) during the 2021 season.

In four seasons with the Hounds, Rovira has appeared in 82 matches, starting 48 of them, and he has eight career assists. He is the second-most-tenured player currently on the Hounds, trailing only team captain Kenardo Forbes, who is entering his sixth season with the club.

Rovira’s re-signing makes him the ninth returning player from a Hounds team that went 16-9-9 and reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2022. More signings will be announced ahead of the start of the team’s preseason camp, scheduled for Jan. 30.

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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