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PSN’s All-Highmark Stadium Era Riverhounds Finest 11 plus honorable mentions (2013-2022)

It’s hard to believe that we’ll be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Highmark Stadium this year, as the Riverhounds have provided soccer fans in Pittsburgh with a home that has provided plenty of exciting memories in its first decade.

To mark the occasion, we are happy to present Pittsburgh Soccer Now‘s All-Highmark Stadium era Riverhounds player selections.

We have included profiles of the Highmark’s Finest 11 starting team below.

This became a bit difficult when trying to come up with a second team, so we went all in, and even added a third team of honorable mentions, giving room to recognize 33 players, by position at the bottom of this feature.

In early February, members from the PSN team who have been part of covering the Riverhounds since 2013, came together on the Sounding Off on Soccer Podcast, in a fun exercise, as we took part in a draft of Riverhounds players from the first 10 seasons they’ve played at Highmark Stadium.

The team was selected by a very unscientific method of feedback from PSN’s contributors who have watched the Hounds teams over the past 10 years.

There have been many terrific players who have come through and played on the Mon during this time, but we also took into account certain criteria.  Each player selected to the team had to play at least one full season. Cumulative statistics and longevity did help put some players over others who may have been here for a shorter period of time.  In addition, having success in the postseason or contributing to winning clubs helped, but wasn’t a deal breaker.

All-Highmark Stadium Era Riverhounds Finest Eleven 

F – Neco Brett (2018-19)

The former Robert Morris University standout came to the Riverhounds when the Bob Lilley era began as a non-roster invitee to preseason came, and showed what he could do.

In two season, Neco made 67 appearances, scored 32 goals and along the way was the team’s go-to Caribbean chef!

Most Memorable Moment:

Scored four goals in Hounds first-ever (and only) playoff win at Highmark Stadium, a 7-0 romp of Birmingham in October 2019.

Brett basks in record-breaking four-goal performance

 F – Corey Hertzog (2016-17)

The former Penn State standout and NY Red Bulls SuperDraft selection, had two outstanding seasons in Pittsburgh despite losing, non-playoff campaigns in 2016 and 2017.

Hertzog landed All-USL honors in 2017.  In his two seasons in Pittsburgh, Hertzog made 62 appearances and scored 28 goals.

Most Memorable Moment:

In August 2017, the Hounds were cruising, and putting themselves in excellent position for a playoff berth, as Hertzog followed up the team’s big Keystone Derby Cup clinching win, with a two-goal performance at Saint Louis that pushed the Hounds above the playoff line.

Hounds battle back for 2-1 win at Saint Louis FC

MF – Kenardo Forbes (2018 – present)

Kenardo Forbes’ longevity in the USL Championship is impressive, as he’s made 226 appearances (201 starts), 18,811 minutes played, 25 Goals, 55 assists (*USLC all-time leader), all while playing under the same Head Coach, Bob Lilley.

He’s spent the last six seasons in Pittsburgh, we’re he was voted by Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s panel recently on Sounding Off on Soccer, as the unanimous first-overall pick in the Highmark Stadium era player selections.

Most Memorable Moment: 

It’s hard to capture just one moment, but in 2019, when the Hounds were deadlocked in a scoreless affair late in the Open Cup Third Round vs Indy Eleven, Forbes came off the bench and delivered a terrific strike that lifted Pittsburgh to the win and first match against an MLS opponent since 2015.

MF – Rob Vincent (2013-15, 2016)

Rob Vincent went from being a non-roster invitee in the 2013 preseason from Division II University of Charleston, to a player who was playing on a different level two years later, who would earn a contract to play in Major League Soccer with DC United in 2016.

In total, Vincent made 79 appearances, scoring 24 goals.

Along the way, especially during the magical 2015 season, Vincent had many memorable performances and goals.

Most Memorable Moment: 

The easy answer would probably be the game-tying goal in the ‘Miracle on the Mon’ comeback win vs Harrisburg, however, earlier that week, the Hounds were looking to advance in the Open Cup, and a potential fourth round match-up vs Major League Soccer’s DC United.  With the match vs NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies approaching stoppage time remaining scoreless, Vincent came through with a spectacular goal that lifted the Hounds to victory.

Riverhounds advance in U.S. Open Cup; Will face D.C. United in fourth round

MF – Kevin Kerr (2013-19)

When he retired in 2019, Kerr was the Hounds all time assists leader (27) and leader in minutes played (14,712), second in appearances (181) and naturally scored more goals than any other player in Highmark Stadium’s seven-year history (at that time).

Kerr success endeared him to the Hounds most faithful fans.

“The fans adored him. They really, really did,” Danny Earls, Kerr’s teammate from 2014-17 explained.

The Steel Army had their own Kevin Kerr song that exemplified his tenacity on the field and come up with big plays in the most opportune moments.

He’s here.

He’s there

He’s everywhere 

He’s Kevin Kerr (to the moon!) 

He’s Kevin Kerr (to the moon!)  

Most Memorable Moment: 

Kerr scored the clinching goal in the Hounds remarkable 6-5 come-from-behind win vs rival Harrisburg on May 29, 2015 — better known as the Miracle on the Mon.


MF – Danny Earls (2014-17)

Earls made an immediate impression on Pittsburgh soccer fans.

In his first season, he was named Steel Army’s Riverhounds Player of the Year in 2014.

Overall, he scored four goals in 76 appearances in Pittsburgh, as he captained the 2015 club that would complete an exciting season which they would clinch a playoff spot in the last game of the regular season, against rivals Harrisburg City Islanders in the same season that the clubs would begin play for the Keystone Derby Cup.

Most Memorable Moments: 

His two goals in the Miracle on the Mon kept the Hounds alive in a match where they were trailing throughout, and gave them hope.  The first goal was an alert put-back after Kevin Kerr’s penalty kick was denied by Harrisburg’s Nick Noble.  The second came on the edge of stoppage time, with the Hounds trailing 5-3, sending in a laser from 28 yards out.

Earls also scored the game-winner in Pittsburgh’s only win ever at Rochester, in 2014.

Irish soccer warrior turned brilliant artist, former Riverhounds MF Danny Earls lands Marvel, DC Comics gigs

D – Joe Greenspan (2017-19)

In the Highmark Stadium era, only one player earned the USL Championship’s Defensive Player of the Year honors with the Riverhounds. That was Joe Greenspan.

In his two full seasons in Pittsburgh (he played 2017 on loan), Greenspan ranked second in clearances with 334,  fourth in aerials won (263) at a success rate of 74.9 percent. Try to get around him? There have only been 23 times in 58 appearances that an opponent has dribbled past Greenspan according to Opta, while his average of a yellow card every 5.8 games and less than a foul conceded per game (53) shows off the positional sense which he played in three seasons in Pittsburgh.

Greenspan also did all of this while also remaining in Active Duty with the U.S. Navy.

Greenspan’s docked and ready for duty in Pittsburgh

Most Memorable Moment: 

With the Hounds in a winner-takes-first-place in the Eastern Conference standings showdown in the Summer 2019, Greenspan took matters into his own in a key showdown in his native New Jersey, scoring a key goal that helped defeat the NY Red Bulls II.

D – Thomas Vancaeyezeele (2018-20)

From the start, Thomas Vancaeyezeele jumped right into the fire in his tenure with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.  His first match, as a rookie out of University of Charleston (D II National Champions in his senior season), ‘Tommy V’ earned the start as a defensive midfielder against Nashville SC before more than 20,000 fans.

Including the club’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals match, Vancaeyezeele played every minute (1,530) for the Hounds. The center back helped lead the team to its regular season record 0.63 goals allowed per game while pacing the squad with 10 blocks. Over the course of playing all 16 regular season games, he racked up 30 interceptions while winning 82 percent of his tackles.

In 2019, the Caen, France native was named All-League Second Team. In 2020, he was named to the league’s first team.

Thomas Vancaeyezeele and Kenardo Forbes earn All-USL first team honors

Most Memorable Moment:

Vancaeyezeele was named to USL Team of the Week after scoring his first career professional goal in a memorable 2-2 draw at FC Cincinnati in early April 2018, when the teams went back-and-forth.  In addition to his goal, Vancaeyezeele showed his versatility — as he made his first start as a hybrid central defender in a 3-5-1-1 formation, then after Head Coach Bob Lilley made second half substitutions, was moved up to the attacking midfield. He would finish that match with a remarkable nine clearances, three interceptions and two tackles to go along with winning 10 of 12 duels.

D – Jordan Dover (2018-21)

Overall, the outside back/winger, recorded four goals over 100 appearances with the Hounds.  For four seasons, Dover provided a steady presence along the back line and especially on the right flank.

The defender started all 25 of his appearances in 2019 for the Hounds, adding a goal and two assists. In 2018, Dover started 29 of his 30 games played and finished second on the team with 73 tackles. He would earn a opportunity to play for Guyana National Team in Gold Cup and League of Nations competitions while he was with the Riverhounds.

Most Memorable Moment:  

In the same match Vancaeyezeele scored, in April 2018, at FC Cincinnati, Dover came through with a terrific strike too.

D – Ryan James (2019-20)

Most Memorable Moment:

In an important showdown for first place in 2020 group play at Hartford, James scored his first goal from the center of the penalty box in the 11th minute before following it up with a left-footed volley for his second tally in the 50th minute. The second of his goals was listed No. 10 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. This marked the first multi-goal game of his career.

GK – Hunter Gilstrap (2010-14, 2016-17)

When he retired, the Lexington, South Carolina native was one of only 10 players in franchise history to have made 100 or more appearances for the club, as his 102 caps rank eighth all-time.

Gilstrap made 171 appearances total across six different franchises. His playing career extends back collegiately to first at Clemson University and then the College of Charleston in South Carolina, while he also had a nine-game stint in the PDL with the Greenville Lions in 2003.

His first stint with the Hounds began officially in 2010 in a season that saw him win USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year and be voted First Team All-League. Gilstrap remained with the Hounds until following the 2014 season, where he competed for the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL for a year. In total, he made nine appearances for the RailHawks, while also going on loan to the Charlotte Independence for two matches.

Gilstrap returned to Pittsburgh for the 2016 season this past January, making nine starts on the year.

In 2017, when the club was going through a rash of injuries at the goalkeeper position, then the team’s goalkeeper coach, Gilstrap was included as the backup in several games.

Most Memorable Moment: 

It was during a very miserable stretch at the start of the 2014 season. The Riverhounds had yet to post a win, and the team took a trip to Harrisburg, to take on rival City Islanders.  It was one of the first times the Steel Army made the trip, and Gilstrap didn’t disappoint, under pressure most of the night, posted a clean sheet, making nine saves in a scoreless draw.

Hounds GK Gilstrap Announces Retirement After 11 Seasons

Second Team All-Highmark Stadium Era Riverhounds

F – Jose Angulo, Russell Cicerone

MF – Danny Griffin, Robbie Mertz, Lebo Moloto, Matt Dallman

D –  Andrew Marshall, Tobi Adewole, Sterling Flunder, Taylor Washington

GK – Danny Vitiello

Honorable Mentions

F – Albert Dikwa, Romeo Parkes

MF – Mohammad Dabo, Anthony Velarde, Dani Rovira, Alex Dixon

D – Mike Green, Willie Hunt, Arturo Ordonez, Rich Costanzo

GK – Kyle Morton

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 Kenardo Forbes

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