Connect with us

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Danny Griffin named Riverhounds’ captain plus more fun facts ahead of 2024 season opener

File photo courtesy John Krysinsky

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ season opener will be here on Saturday, and we thought this would be a good time to share a few fun facts ahead of Saturday’s match at New Mexico United (4 p.m. kickoff, TV: KDKA+, Streaming: ESPN+, Radio: SiriusXM FC).

  • Griffin to wear the captain’s armband! Danny Griffin has been named the Hounds’ new captain for the 2024 season. The fifth-year pro has not missed a league match regular season or postseason — in his career between Pittsburgh and a brief stint with Huntsville in MLS Next Pro.

“I definitely think at this point we’ve got four or five guys that have been around long enough that we kind of know what he’s going to say before he says it at times,” Griffin told PSN’s Colton Coreschi earlier in the preseason.

“I think that is helpful for some of the other guys who are just stepping in and are new here, that we can certainly give them that insight and help Bob to implement some of his ideas.”

Aside from a brief stint in Huntsville early last year, Griffin enters his fifth year under Lilley after the 25-year-old’s four years at Providence College.

  • Earliest Opener in Hounds History –  The March 9 opening date makes this the earliest season opener in Hounds history, coming two days sooner than last year’s March 11 kickoff in Birmingham.
  • Record in Opening Matches… The Hounds are 7-8-9 all-time in opening matches, including a 2-2-2 mark under Lilley. All seven season openers under Lilley have been played on the road
  • Year 25! The Riverhounds are beginning their 25th season of competition today. They first took the field in the 1999 USL A-League season and have played continuously except for the 2007 season, which was skipped due to an ownership change and reorganization.
  • Part of the Old Guard… The Hounds are the third-oldest pro club in USL behind only the Charleston Battery and Richmond Kickers, both founded in 1993.
  • Starting on the Road Again… This is the seventh straight year the Hounds have begun the season on the road, and the 19th time in 25 seasons. The team is 2-2-2 in openers under Lilley, with both losses coming at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and they are 7-8-9 overall in season openers.
  • The last time the Hounds opened the season at home?  It was 2017, when Pittsburgh faced defending USL Championship Cup winners, NY Red Bulls II.  Corey Hertzog

What We Learned: Resilient Hounds Draw Defending Champs NY Red Bulls, 3-3

  • Still Elite… Kenardo Forbes, the Hounds’ most-tenured player entering Year 7 with the club, was a Second Team All-USL pick last year after becoming the first in league history to record back-toback 10-assist seasons. He has been named the All-USL First or Second Team seven times, including all six of his seasons in Pittsburgh.

Riverhounds captain Kenardo Forbes praises recruitment for ‘much better’ preseason than usual

  • Finding a home in his hometown…  Robbie Mertz will become the 17th player to hit 100 appearances for the Hounds with his next match played, and he will be only the fourth Pittsburgh-area native to do so, joining Gary DePalma, Justin Evans and Nathan Salsi.
  • D-Rov Enters Year Six in the ‘Burgh… Defender Dani Rovira is the second-most tenured Hounds player entering his sixth season with the team. The versatile Colombian has had five assists in each of the past two seasons, and his 13 career assists are the most by a defender in team history.
  • The Bob Lilley Era… In 203 matches played under Lilley in all competitions, the Hounds are 106-42-55 and have allowed just 187 goals, an average of 0.92 goals per game.

Other PSN Riverhounds SC Opening Match Week Coverage includes:

Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley keeping players ‘clear-headed’ ahead of USL Championship kickoff

Sounding Off on Soccer Podcast: PSN’s Annual Riverhounds, USL Championship 2024 predictions



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

Subscribe to PGH Soccer Now

Enter your email address to subscribe to PGH Soccer Now and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More in Pittsburgh Riverhounds