Here’s an early position-by-position look what potentially what the Hounds have (along with each player’s 2016 team, age and some notes)…
Keasel Broome (Harrisburg City Islanders – USL, 25)
Broome played twice against Pittsburgh last season with the Harrisburg City Islanders, helping the Hounds cross-state rivals take the second edition of the Keystone Derby Cup. As previously mentioned, the former Providence keeper was signed by the NY Cosmos, but didn’t appear in a games in 2015.
Trey Mitchell (MLS League Pool, 25)
After initially signing with LA Galaxy, Mitchell has spent a good part of the past few years as an *MLS League Pool goalkeeper, including making an appearance for the Colorado Rapids in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup, as well as showings with D.C. United, Orlando City B, the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC in 2015.
*If you are wondering what a League Pool Goalkeeper could possibly be, MLS has a rule for teams that face hardship situation. It’s called Extreme Hardship Call-Ups.
Below you can find this from the league’s rules:
Teams may add players to their roster in cases of “extreme hardship” as follows:
(1) a club with three goalkeepers on its 30-man roster, but has less than two available goalkeepers or
(2) a team has less than 15 available players. Extreme hardship call-ups are made on a game-by-game basis.
Ryan Adeleye (Riverhounds, 29)
Brandt will likely be utilizing Adeleye as a center back. After ten games with the Hounds in 2016, he provided mixed results, but with a chance to play a full season and train with the team from the beginning, he can become a more consistent player on the back line.
Tobi Adewole (George Washington, 21)
Hounds add another young defender with some promise straight out of College.
Shane Campbell (Harrisburg City Islanders, 22)
A young defender that played in eight games with Harrisburg in 2016, and will try to compete for a position in the line-up.
Jamal Jack (Club Deportivo Dragón, El Salvador, 29)
A veteran, big bodied defender that can provide depth on the back line and find have possible role at center back. Some of his highlights indicate that he has also played in midfield and some forward.
Taylor Washington (Philadelphia Union – MLS / Bethlehem Steel FC – USL, 23)
Philadelphia Union 1st round SuperDraft pick in 2016 started 28 of 30 games for Bethlehem Steel FC in 2016 at left back, and was among the league leaders in minutes played. The Union opted not to bring him back in 2017.
Rich Balchan (Ottawa Fury, 28)
Balchan is a pro veteran who made three appearances for Ottawa last year, but had played with Columbus Crew in 2011/12 and Real Salt Lake — and then for Tampa Bay Rowdies when they were in the NASL.
Marshall Hollingsworth (Columbus Crew/Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 24)
Hollingsworth was a regular, steady contributor for the Hounds a year ago, proving himself as a player with an exceptional work rate mostly on the flank either in outside midfield and outside back roles. It appears that Crew coach Gregg Berhalter would like to see Hollingsworth start the season in Pittsburgh again, but if needed, Hollingsworth could likely make spot appearances for the Crew as he did a year ago.
Bryan Arguez (Ft. Lauderdale Strikers – NASL, 27)
Natural center/defensive midfielder. He got back into action last season, with 14 appearances for the Strikers, and the Hounds are hoping that he can keep his career resurgence going strong.
Ritchie Duffie (Virginia Commonwealth University, 24)
Former VCU standout, playing in his first pro contract, Duffie could be a midfielder or provide depth to the back line as well.
Danny Earls (Riverhounds, 27)
A former MLS player, and veteran of many USL battles, Earls seems to have found a home in Pittsburgh. The Irish native has scored four goals in 65 club appearances.
Last season ended prematurely for Earls, after the Irishman was sent off in the final Harrisburg game for a hard challenge, and an ensuing scuffle which he also pushed an official. He will begin the season serving the last part of a seven-game suspension handed down from the USL for that incident.
Ben Fitzpatrick (Ohio State, 22)
A native of Hilliard, Ohio, Fitzpatrick starred at midfield for Urbana before transferring to Ohio State for his senior year. Fitzgerald, who also helped the Michigan Bucks capture the 2016 Premier Development League title, provides the Hounds with depth in a midfield that includes a number of returning veterans.
Mike Green (Riverhounds, 27)
Green is the longest tenured Hound, having been with the team since in its last season that they played at Chartiers Valley High School in 2012. The versatile Green has played most positions on the field for Pittsburgh, and could continue to find playing time either in the midfield or on the back line.
Kevin Kerr (Riverhounds, 27)
Team captain in 2016, will be looking to continue to provide tireless work-rate and can move around to play defensive midfield, or on the flanks in an attacking role, where he excelled to the tune of nine goals and 10 assists in 2015.
Stephen Okai (Riverhounds, 27)
Okai has had some bright moments with the Hounds as a defensive midfielder. With the addition of Ghanaian former Philadephia Union SuperDraft pick who excelled at University of Mobile and won NAIA Player of the Year honors, the Hounds have considerable veteran presence in the midfield.
Victor Souto (University of Akron, 22)
Apparently the talented, play-making midfielder was released from Akron in his senior year after playing only three games. He had an outstanding career up to that point, posting nine goals and three assists in his four seasons with the Zips, including playing in College Cup.
Jack Thompson (Riverhounds, 24)
After playing his first pro season in Charlotte for the Independence in their inaugural season in 2015, Thompson played in a variety of spots last season for the Hounds when he was added to the roster in June. He will likely be a player that Brandt will keep finding a way to plug into the line-up.
Nick Thompson (Riverhounds, 28)
Of the Thompson brothers, he’s the bigger one, both in size, and in age. Until last season, when Brandt brought him in to Pittsburgh, Thompson hadn’t played pro soccer since 2011, when he was a member of the Carolina Railhawks (now North Carolina FC). He scored twice for the Hounds last year when he was used mostly in a late substitution role as a back-to-goal, hold-up striker, but was also used in the central midfield a few times as well.
Ben Swanson (Columbus Crew/Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 19)
Swanson is a homegrown player who played for the Crew Academy throughout his youth living in Grove City, Ohio. He was on the Riverhounds opening day roster and played intermittently through the first half of the season. But injuries and a bout with mono held back Swanson’s development and playing time. The Crew would probably be very happy for him to get a full pro season under his belt in Pittsburgh to prepare him for the next level.
Dan Bedoya (NY Red Bulls II, 25)
Native of Columbia who spent his youth in New York City, where he was a standout in high school and he moved on to play collegiately for St.John’s University. Bedoya, 23, was signed by the New York Red Bulls organization where he had played for their Academy. He is familiar with the Riverhounds, as played for the U23 team that played in Pittsburgh in the US Open Cup in 2014, then was a member of the NYRBII team in 2015 that knocked the Hounds out of the playoffs. In fact, Bedoya scored a goal and had an assist in the Red Bulls II three goal outburst in OT during the NYRBII 4-2 USL Eastern Conference playoff win at Red Bull Arena.
Kay Banjo (Vancouver Whitecaps, 24)
The Hounds have already brought in a number of forwards with some scoring pedigree. Banjo was a second round MLS SuperDraft pick of the Vancouver Whitecaps, but never saw the field for the Whitecaps.
Devaughn Elliott (Murcielagos, Mexico, 25)
Labeled as a second striker — could also play in an attacking midfield role or on the outside of the attack as well.
Corey Hertzog (Riverhounds, 25)
Hertzog is a proven commodity at this level, and the Hounds decided after a productive first-season, the 26-year old Reading, PA native, would be an important piece to bring back as they look to turn things around in 2017.
Kenroy Howell (C.D. Dragon, 23)
In addition to Jack, Howell also played with Club Deportivo Dragón, and made 16 appearances in total for the club, most notably netted his first goal in a close 2-1 defeat against the Portland Timbers at the CONCACAF Champions League in August.
John Manga (University of Cincinnati, 22)
Former refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Manga had a standout career at the University of Cincinnati, where he scored 16 goals and had five assists in 41 starts.
Chevaughn Walsh (Riverhounds, 21)
Walsh was the Premier Development League (PDL) MVP in 2016, and was signed by the Hounds in early August. He played in six games, scoring once against Orlando City B.
Also, to help keep track of Columbus Crew’s players and its roster, I’ve also included it’s current roster breakdown (courtesy of our friends at Soccer America). The Crew players that are already training with the Hounds have not officially been added to the roster. There’s a good chance that the Hounds will add a few more players on loan from Columbus before the season starts.
COLUMBUS CREW – 2017 Roster (30 players):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Logan Ketterer (Bradley Univ., SuperDraft), Zach Steffen, Brad Stuver.
DEFENDERS (11): Lalas Abubakar (Univ. of Dayton, SuperDraft), Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale (Univ. of Maryland, Homegrown), Waylon Francis, Hector Jimenez, Connor Maloney (Penn State Univ., SuperDraft), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi Makhachkala/RUS, Transfer), Nicolai Naess, Jukka Raitala (Sogndal/NOR, Transfer), Gaston Sauro, Josh Williams (Toronto FC, Re-Entry Draft).
MIDFIELDERS (14): Mohammed Abu (Stromsgodset/NOR, Transfer), Artur (Sao Pauloi/BRA, Loan), Dilly Duka, Ethan Finlay, Niko Hansen (Univ. of New Mexico, SuperDraft), Federico Higuain, Marshall Hollingsworth, Cristian Martinez (Chorrillo, Transfer), Justin Meram, Abuchi Obinwa (Hannover U-19/GER, Free Agent), Rodrigo Saravia, Ben Swanson, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp.
FORWARDS (2): Adam Jahn, Ola Kamara.