Things are really kicking into gear.
The bigger college programs have been practicing for over a week — and some have already played a few scrimmages.
All of the preseason polls are out regarding the local Division I programs.
Word has it that one of the bigger college men’s programs were scrimmaging at Highmark Stadium on Wednesday.
The High School preseason has also kicked off as well — as WPIAL teams prepare for a season that will now see four classifications.
And I’m in the process of gearing up as well.
I will be hosting, along with Mike Sparks from Mon Goals, a College Preview podcast show covering all of the local teams including interviews and sound bytes from the coaches.
In addition, I’ll have previews/capsules on the local Division I teams in the coming week here on Pittsburgh Soccer Report.
The High School coverage will kick into gear the following week — as we’ll have an additional preview podcast with coaches interviews and a look at the season ahead.
COLLEGE SEASON OPENERS
NCAA Division I College Women’s teams officially begin games this Friday and all three local Pittsburgh teams are in action — along with the two powerhouse teams in our region, defending Division I champs and 5th ranked Penn State and 4th ranked West Virginia will square off at the Penn State Invitational. Here’s a look at the NCAA Women’s Preseason Top 25.
I’ll be at the Pitt-Duquense game on Sunday — looking forward to it.
Friday, August 19
West Virginia at Penn State 7:30 p.m.
Central Michigan at Duquesne 7 p.m.
Pitt at Michigan 7 p.m.
Youngstown State at Robert Morris 5 p.m.
In addition, Pitt and Duquesne will square off in their women’s soccer version of the “City Game” at Pitt on Sunday evening at 6 p.m.
The men’s teams open their season next week.
Here’s the men’s schedule of openers:
Friday, August 26
Niagara at Robert Morris 1 p.m.
Detroit at Pitt 7 p.m.
Saint Francis Univ at Duquesne 7 p.m.
RIVERHOUNDS UPDATES: HERTZOG SNUBBED AGAIN, EARLS ONE YELLOW AWAY FROM SUSPENSION
The USL’s mid-week announcements include the Team of the Week and the Discipline Report.
And one Riverhounds player, Corey Hertzog, was left off the USL Team of the Week.
All Hertzog has done is keep scoring goals.
He scored his ninth of the season, and in the fourth straight game in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Bethlehem Steel FC.
On the other hand, one Riverhound that did make the ‘watch list’ in the Discipline Report — is none other than Irishman Danny Earls.
Earls returned to the Hounds in June, and since played in 10 games — picking up four yellow cards. One more card for the holding midfielder who is never too shy to go for a hard tackle, and as mandated by USL rules, he will have to sit out and be suspended a game.
This will be something the Hounds may monitor closely since they have little to play for except the Keystone Derby Cup on Saturday, August 27. They have two games prior to that game — playing at Earls’ former team Rochester Rhinos on Saturday and then at home against Wilmington.
It might be a good strategy for the Hounds Head Coach Dave Brandt to unleash Earls against his former team, but sit him out against Wilmington (or if he gets a yellow card at Rochester — he’ll sit out anyway).
Either way — I’m sure that most everyone would agree it would be a plus to have Earls on the field for the Harrisburg match on the 27th.
THEY SAID IT:
“It was a Bull Durham sort of thing. At times we were hoping for rain outs.”
“It was planes, trains and automobiles.”
Pitt Men’s Head Coach Jay Vidovich, on coaching Portland Timbers USL team, T2 last season.