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Returnee Patrick Hogan is locked in and ready to help lead Riverhounds’ backline to another strong campaign

Pittsburgh Riverhounds defender Patrick Hogan knows that he and the backline have set themselves a high bar after last year, but that they’re up to the challenge as they look to go further. 

It was something of a roller coaster year for Hounds defender Patrick Hogan in 2023 as he settled into his new surroundings after making the move from Charleston Battery. He began as a regular in the side, starting four of the team’s first five games, but couldn’t find a settled spot in the side after that, only making 12 more starts throughout the rest of the USL Championship campaign.

But with a new season comes a fresh opportunity, a new spot in the backline opening up with the departure of Arturo Ordonez, and perhaps most importantly for him, a new preseason under his belt to continue to adjust to the Bob Lilley style of play.

And speaking exclusively to Pittsburgh Soccer Now, Hogan broke down what going into a second preseason with the Hounds means for him and where he stands in terms of battling for a place in the starting eleven for the upcoming year: 

“Now I know what to expect from Bob and what he wants going into this year so I have a clear mind of how he wants to play, the tactics of what he wants to do and how he wants to perform every single day, regardless of how tired you are and everything. So it’s been nice coming back knowing what I need to do to get going.

“I started slow this offseason, I came in with an injury in my calf. But I mean, the position’s there for the taking for everyone. Bob’s a guy that if you’re performing well, you’ll be on the field regardless of if you’re a first-year or second-year. So if I can just do my job and make sure that I’m locked in every day at training and in games then I should be able to.”

The Hounds have been looking to be a little more flexible this season when it comes to their formations, with the team working with both four and five-man defensive fronts during preseason, which requires players like Hogan to slightly alter their positions and roles within the squad at any given time, but having played in a variety of formations throughout his career, the work that he’s doing now is coming very naturally to him: 

“It’s funny, until I came here, this was probably one of the first times I did play in a back five. I played a little bit at Charleston, but it was mostly a back four throughout my college career and in Charleston. Then we played predominantly five back all last year. So I felt like I’ve gotten used to playing in the back five and then I already have the experience in the four back from previous years. 

“So I think I’m pretty comfortable switching from either one. It’s just a little tweak here and there on the movements and what you’re expected to do as a centre back, but overall I don’t think it’s that bad.”

If Hogan can take that step into being a first-team regular, he knows that he has a lot to live up to after last season in which the Hounds had the second best defensive record in the USL Championship, but he’s confident that if given the chance, not only will he deliver, but the team might even be able to jump ahead of where they reached last year: 

“Bob always wants to defensive mindset in the team, the standards we set last year we’re definitely trying to take and almost improve for this next year. Obviously we lost a couple guys in the front end and the back, so it’ll be a little bit different with the change of players. But the standard’s there and the standard’s extremely high and we’re looking to get another regular season title.”

Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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