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Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer: Steel City FC, Beadling senior women’s teams ready to kick off regular season

Pittsburgh’s NPSL (men’s) and UWS and WPSL (women’s) teams are getting their seasons started — so the Pittsburgh soccer calendar will now be full through the late spring and early summer.

Of course, the Riverhounds will be in action on Saturday — as they’ll be back at home to face North Carolina FC, for the first time since 2019, when NCFC competed in USL Championship in 2018 and 2019.

If you missed it, be sure to check out my post match Takeaways following the Hounds’ wild 2-2 draw at Tulsa on Saturday night.

Sounding Off on Soccer Podcast: Takeaways from Hounds wild night in Tulsa

In addition, as part of our series of interviews with Pittsburgh Division I coaches, Robert Morris University’s Men’s Head Soccer Coach, Jonathan Potter, joined me last week on Sounding Off on Soccer podcast.

Steel City FC’s men’s side began its regular season with an impressive road win on Saturday, defeating Flower City Union, 3-0.   PSN provided a recap and highlights of the match on Saturday.

It was an impressive performance, as Steel City’s squad showed that they’re intent to build off of last season’s success, with a group that includes numerous returnees who currently play with Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris, but a bunch of cagey veterans and a few new additions.

A few weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced they’ll be bringing a women’s team into the mix, with the club competing in the USL W-League, as a pre-professional third division entity, starting in 2025.

While this is exciting news, as mentioned in the last edition of the Pulse of Pittsburgh soccer, is far from a groundbreaking announcement as it pertains to women’s soccer teams in Pittsburgh region competing on this level of what’s considered pre-professional, lower division ranks.

That’s because there are two clubs, Steel City FC and Beadling who have fielded women’s teams in two of the lower division leagues.

Steel City FC is the OG women’s club, founded in 2014, and they’re gearing up for their second season in United Women’s Soccer, a pro-am league.  The club transitioned from it’s original name, Steel City FC to Pittsburgh Hotspurs when the latter club took over operations of the team.  In 2022, Pittsburgh Hotspurs organization rebranded at Steel City FC.

Through the years, current Steel City FC club owner and director, Tom Ovenden, involved with the Women’s team.

Steel City FC women are preparing to compete in UWS league play, starting with a road trip when they follow in the men’s team’s footsteps by traveling to Western New York, when they take on Berlin FC at Buffalo State University (1 pm).

On the precipice of a new sesaon, Ovenden is most excited about seeing many players from his club that have come up through their own Academy ranks.

“We just played Cleveland Ambassadors in a preseason friendly and won 4-3, this is our strongest squad with many academy graduates in the 40 woman squad,” Ovenden said this week.

Steel City finished in 7th place in a 17 team regional ‘Group D’ in the UWS last season.

“This is a great moment for the club so we are hopeful of a playoff push again this year!

Meanwhile, Beadling SC’s women’s team will be competing for the third season in WPSL, with Matt Fonagy serving at the team’s head coach.

“Going into year three, our staff could not be more excited about our team here at Beadling. Not only are we returning a lot of players from last year, but also, we are adding a ton of talent into the mix this season,” Fonagy said.

In 2023, Beadling finished 4-4-0 (W-L-D) in the East Lake Erie Conference.

“As a team, we will look to continue a positive, competitive training environment for these players to stay sharp throughout the summer,” Fonagy added. “On top of that, we are extremely excited to play against some of the best women’s teams in the region.

Look for more coverage from Pittsburgh Soccer Now through the Spring and early Summer for both men’s NPSL squad, and both women’s teams.

PITTSBURGH SOCCER SCHEDULE (5/18 – 5/26)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

2 pm – Beadling SC (Women) vs Corktown WFC (Southpointe Fieldhouse) – WPSL Regular Season

7 pm — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs North Carolina FC – USL Championship

Sunday, May 19, 2024

1 pm – Steel City FC (Women) at Berlin FC at Coyer Field, Buffalo St University – UWS Regular Season

5 pm – Steel City FC (Men) vs Flower City Union at Founders Field – NPSL Regular Season

Friday, May 24, 2024

6 pm – Steel City FC (Women) vs Erie Commodores at Mercyhurst University, Erie – UWS Regular Season

Saturday, May 25, 2024

2 pm – Beadling SC (Women) vs GTFC Impact (Southpointe Fieldhouse) – WPSL Regular Season

8:30 pm – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs Memphis 901 FC – USL Championship

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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