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Former Pitt, Hounds defender Robby Dambrot’s strike draws praise from King James

Robby Dambrot in training session with Riverhounds in 2022 (Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC)

Former Pitt and Riverhounds defender/winger Robby Dambrot scored an impressive goal that capped Loudoun United FC win vs FC Tulsa, 3-0, at home on Saturday night.

Dambrot’s goal caught the attention of a rather famous friend of the family — none other than LeBron James.

LeBron’s praise drew plenty of response from USL Championship, Loudoun and lower division soccer circles.

If you don’t already know the backstory, Dambrot’s father, Keith, who recently retired as men’s basketball head coach at Duquesne, leading the Dukes to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 47 years, was James’ high-school basketball coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

James, who first came to national attention as a high school junior thanks to a Sports Illustrated cover article, has always showed his appreciation for the Dambrot family, including Robby.

A 6-foot-2 defender and native of Akron, Ohio — and former Pitt Panther, Dambrot signed his first pro deal with Loudoun midway through the 2019 season after finishing his college career at Pitt.

Dambrot made five appearances (three starts) with the Hounds and scored in the team’s 2-1 home-opening win March 19, 2022, against Hartford, but made his last start that April at Las Vegas, then his last appearance, for 20 minutes off the bench against El Paso, came at home that May.

The Riverhounds and Dambrot parted ways that summer, and the former Pitt man immediately was signed by Indy Eleven, where he played through the 2023 season, before re-signing with Loudoun ahead of the 2024 campaign.

PSN 1-on-1: Riverhounds SC defender Robby Dambrot

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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