The Pittsburgh Riverhounds officially started their preseason training camp on February 1st and chose to bring on 17 players on trial to practice with the 15 rostered players to try and fill out the remaining 8 roster spots. According to head coach Bob Lilley, “Some of the guys that came in were tight as a drum. It was ugly” but, “At the end, though, they were a little bit better because they started to just play.”
At the start of any preseason workout, no matter what level of soccer you play at, there is always going to be some rust that needs to be shaken off. Also, players need some time to adjust to the playing styles of who they are playing with to get an understanding of how exactly they need to play.
At this point in time, the Hounds are still looking to fill out the midfield and goalkeeper positions. There are currently three trialists fighting for the remaining keeper spot(s), depending on how many keepers the Hounds choose to sign, and 6 midfielders that are all looking to earn a spot on the roster.
This weekend, beginning on Friday at 7pm, and then on Sunday at 2pm, the Riverhounds will start their first-round preseason friendly matchups against Division 1 colligate programs Duquesne University and Villanova, respectively.
Duquesne University finished its 2019 season at 8-8-1 and finished 3-5 in the Atlantic 10 conference play. Villanova had a 9-8-1 record and finished 2-6-1 in Big East conference play. These two matchups will be a good way to ease into the preseason and hopefully will help the club with building chemistry before its next set of matchups against two stronger college soccer programs Penn State (2/15, 1pm) and University of Pittsburgh (2/19, 7pm).
As a reminder, all preseason games are free to attend! As an added bonus, the bar is also open for all games as well! Hope to see you down at Highmark Stadium for a game or two!