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Reactions high on Riverhounds jersey reveal

Fans, players impressed by Charly’s inaugural efforts on new 2024 home and away jerseys

In a packed Heinz History Center on Wednesday evening, Charly and the Riverhounds revealed the fruits of their first 10-month labor to design the Hounds 2024 home and away jerseys to a great reception from both the fans in attendance as well as the players modeling them.

The atmosphere was electric, with a line out the door by the opening time of 5:45 PM and the main gallery filled from stage to trolley car once everyone had filed into the space. The impressive crowd was a heartening sign of things to come for a club that has seen attendances rise rapidly in the past few years and a good omen for the home opener in less than a month’s time.

Excitement was high as the special presentation from KDKA+ got underway for fans at home. One all was set for the simultaneous reveal, the initial video was presented showing off the “Three Rivers” home kit and “Steel” away jersey, to many whispers and murmurs of delight at the unique end result. After the video’s conclusion, numerous players took the stage to display the jerseys in action – including the blue and red goalkeeper jerseys you can expect to see this season.

After spending a moment serving as models for their 2024 outerwear, the stage was taken by Riverhounds president Jeff Garner and Charly representative Chuy Salazar to describe the design process and unique features of the jersey – from silicon stitched crest, to embossed 25th anniversary logo, and everything in-between.

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Speaking with Pittsburgh Soccer Now, Mr. Salazar went into the details of the custom design process that led to end result shown off Wednesday night.

“The fact that we actually customize everything, design-wise, technology-wise, add-ins like [the embossed logo] and the [412 on the back neck], the woven silicon crest, everything here is customized,” Salazar explained.

“Because of this, we need more time in advance. There’s no catalog or anything. We always say the gameday kit is the first and most important identity piece a fanbase can have, so we cannot do templated stuff, because if we do that we’re taking the identity out of the club. So doing that, we need more time to investigate the city, the fanbase, the supporters’ groups – we came here many times to be sure we understood what the fans wanted and the club wanted, and that’s why this process takes ten months. If we don’t do that, we lose ourselves as a brand, and become one of those cookie-cutter brands that we don’t want to be. And that’s what makes us different from those.”

Further speaking on the resulting design, Salazar explained that the bridge concept was early and central to all discussions around the design process.

“That was absolutely the first thing we talked about – home kit, bridges,” Salazar continued. “No question at all. It had to be black and it had to have the bridge. Now whether it was one bridge, many bridges, that’s where the discussion came to be. But the bridge component was decided the first second we started to discuss it.”

Additionally, Mr. Salazar confirmed there are no authentic vs. replica kits – all kits made by Charly are identical between what the players wear and what the fans can purchase. The presentation concluded with confirmation from president Garner that an alternate kit is coming mid-season, and a small teaser about “rights retained” to potentially create another kit for a special occasion in the future.

After the conclusion of the presentation, the jerseys went on sale for the fans in attendance as folks milled about, enjoyed the refreshments, and chatted with one another, team staff, and players. And speaking of the players, few folks in attendance were as excited about what they were seeing as those who will wear these jerseys on the field.

Multiple players expressed their excitement over the final product, citing the designs as inspired and their general impressive view of Charly’s work with the club so far. Goalkeepers Eric Dick and Jacob Randolph both spoke on their feelings towards the jersey, with a bit of goaltender humor thrown in.

“My family wants me to get them the home jersey before they even get a goalkeeper jersey,” joked Dick. “Charly has been very impressive, even down to the training kits which feel good and stretch nicely, better than alternatives.”

“Yeah, they’re very comfortable. We’ve been really impressed by them and the jerseys look great,” added Randolph, who continued by joking, “we should get the Charly guys over here, we’re basically doing free marketing!”

Their views were echoed by other players, staff, and by fans in attendance, including as always some Steel Army representation.

Suffice to say, Charly has hit a homerun with their initial efforts and have impressed. The Hounds will take the field stylishly in just a few weeks time as the home opener approaches, thanks to the all-custom efforts of their newest partner.

Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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