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USL Championship’s Defender of the Year, former Pitt standout, Arturo Ordonez, will not be returning to Riverhounds

On Friday, Arturo Ordonez, who excelled in his first two professional seasons with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and had been a standout defender at the University of Pittsburgh from 2019-21, announced that he will not be returning to Pittsburgh next season.

Ordonez, who became USL Championship’s Defender of the Year in 2023, made his announcement on his Instagram account.

A native of Salou, Spain, Ordoñez had a standout second season for the Hounds. He ranked second in the league with 106 aerial duels won at a success rate of 75.7 percent and also made 239 recoveries, also good for second among outfield players.

Overall, Ordóñez won 63.7 percent of duels and 69.6 percent of tackles and also scored five goals, including the insurance marker in the Hounds’ 2-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies that clinched the Players’ Shield for the club’s first silverware in the USL Championship era. His five goals were the most by a defender in on season in team history.

Riverhounds SC’s Arturo Ordoñez earns 2023 USL Championship Defender of the Year

“I’m really, really happy to get an award like this in a league with the amount of talent and good players that are in the USL Championship,” Ordóñez said. “I also want to thank all my teammates. They were all so important and made my job easier, and I want to thank the Riverhounds’ coaches for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play.”

The 26-year-old competed in the lower divisions of Spanish soccer for Pobla de Mafumet and on loan with Castelldefels before making the move across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the University of Pittsburgh in 2019.

Twice voted to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-League Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team, Ordoñez remained in Pittsburgh to turn pro with the Hounds before the 2022 season after being drafted by MLS’ Houston Dynamo.

After his rookie season, Ordonez had his option year contract picked up by the Riverhounds, but his contract expired at the end of this season.

The Hounds said they were making every effort to re-sign six players who had expired contracts, including Ordonez.

The remaining five players include the league’s reigning Player of the Year Albert Dikwa, Hounds’ starting keeper the past two seasons, Jahmali Waite along with Nate Dossantos, Luke Biasi and Marc Ybarra.

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).

Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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