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Pulse of Pittsburgh Fútbol (9/19/2023): Vamos! Hispanic futbol ties are abound in the Steel City

Vamos Pittsburgh Fútbol fans!

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, and what better way to celebrate than by having the beautiful game in plenty of doses in and around the Pittsburgh region this week.

We may not have a very large Hispanic population in the Steel City, but it is growing!

In fact, over the past 10 years, the percentage of Pittsburgh-area residents who identify as having Latinx and Hispanic heritage has increased by more than 80 percent, according to University of Pittsburgh study.

Recognized in the United States since 1968, the start of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month — Sept. 15 — marks the date that several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hondura and Nicaragua, obtained their independence from Spain. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Fittingly, Hispanic and Latinx influences on Pittsburgh soccer are aplenty.  And, kudos to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, who will once again celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night during this Saturday’s match vs New Mexico United.

The Riverhounds’ roster has numerous players on its roster with Hispanic and Latinx heritage and come from Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries including Arturo Ordonez (Spain), Dani Rovira (Columbia) and plus additional players with Hispanic roots: Danny Griffin (Peru), Juan Carlos Obregón (Honduras), Marc Ybarra, Tony Lopez, Nate Dossantos and Jonathan Gomes.

Among the festivities on Saturday, Roberto Clemente Jr., son of Pittsburgh Pirates and Puerto Rico’s legendary Hall of Fame Major League Baseball player, Robert Clemente, will deliver the game ball prior to kickoff.

The Riverhounds can keep its grip on first place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference, if they can take the full three points from the squad from the ABQ, who come into this match as a desperate side, battling to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race.

As a special treat, we’ve included some of our favorite interviews with Pittsburgh soccer players and media members with Hispanic roots in recent years at the bottom of this post.


Dukes Host A Midweek Matinee

One interesting schedule note, the Duquesne men’s team will now be playing at 1 p.m. on Tuesday in a non-conference matchup vs Xavier (if you are trying to keep up, the former A-10 school is in the Big East) at Rooney Field.  On the original schedule, it was marked for a 7 p.m. kickoff.   Duquesne holds a 9-3-2 overall series edge between the former conference rivals.

The Dukes are unbeaten in their last five matches, since their opening loss of the season to James Madison, in Virginia. That loss isn’t looking so bad now, as JMU has raced out to a 4-1-2 overall record, having only lost to 2nd Ranked Marshall, 3-1.

After Tuesday’s afternoon match, it’s mostly Atlantic 10 schedule for the Dukes the rest of the season, though they will also face Pitt on October 17 and Wright State on October 25.   The Dukes will face a tough road challenge on Saturday, when they travel to take on the team that knocked them out of the A-10 playoffs last season, Loyola (Ill).

Pitt to face Defending NCAA Champions

Pitt men took care of business on Monday, dusting off Farleigh Dickinson, 5-1, at Ambrose Urbanic Field.  PSN’s Dom Campbell was there, and filed this Match Report.

Looming large though, on Friday, Pitt will travel to upstate New York to face longtime rival Syracuse, who just happen to be the defending NCAA Champions.

Syracuse and Pitt both made it to the College Cup last season, but the Orange did what the Panthers couldn’t do, as they found a way to defeat Indiana, in a thrilling final.  The Orange are without a loss this season (3-0-3), however, through two matches in ACC competition, they have only picked up two points, with draws vs Louisville and Wake Forest.  Against common opponents this season, Pitt and Syracuse have both played Penn State (both drew), and Wake (Orange drew, while Pitt defeated Wake, 3-0).

Look for more to come this week on PSN as we preview this powerhouse ACC match-up.

Women’s Teams face Thursday/Sunday Conference Matches 

Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris women’s teams will all have to contend with playing Thursday and Sunday matches this coming weekend, all in conference play, and all will have to travel Thursday, while Pitt and RMU will return home for Sunday matches.

Pitt, who began ACC play with a 2-0 win at NC State, will be tested on the road vs Louisville and then face No. 13 Notre Dame. The Panthers split with the Irish last year, winning their regular season clash, but fell to Randy Waldrum’s former team, in the ACC playoffs in a match that went to extra time and a penalty kick shootout.

Pittsburgh Soccer Schedule (9/18/2023 – 9/25/2023)

Tues Sept 19
WPIAL Boys Section play
Duq M 1:00 PM H Xavier Rooney Field
Wed Sept 20
WPIAL Girls Section play
Sep 21 (Thu) RMU W 8:00 PM A Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
Pitt W 2:00 PM A Louisville Louisville, KY
Duq W 7:00 PM A Rhode Island Kingston, RI
WPIAL Boys Section play
Fri Sept 22 Pitt M 7:00 PM A Syracuse Syracuse, NY
Sat Sept 23 HOUNDS 7:00 PM H New Mexico Highmark Stadium
RMU M 2:00 PM A Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
Duq M 3:00 PM A Loyola (IL) Chicago, IL
WPIAL Non-Section (Boys & Girls)
Sep 24 (Sun) RMU W 1:00 PM H Wright St Moon Twp
Pitt W 1:00 PM H Notre Dame Ambrose Urbanic Field
Duq W 1:00 PM A St. Bonaventure Olean, NY
Mon Sept 25
WPIAL Girls Section play
Pitt M 7:00 PM H Denver Ambrose Urbanic Field


La Mega Media’s Amadeo Eichberg joined John Krysinsky on Sounding Off on Soccer Podcast to preview World Cup Final in December 

Sounding Off on Soccer: World Cup Final Preview

Riverhounds Defender Arturo Ordonez 

Riverhounds Midfielder Dani Rovira 

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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