Pittsburgh Soccer Report

Hounds unleash a ‘new era’ Friday


The Riverhounds will be hosting an event on Friday night (7 p.m.) at Highmark Stadium that will unveil the team’s new kits — and all signs point to the unveiling of re-branding and reformed identity revolving around a new crest/look.

The Hounds will likely be replacing the current logo with a new crest. 

There will also be some additional news regarding  broadcast information (it appears that the Hounds have found a local TV home for all road broadcasts), along with information about Highmark Stadium’s expansion but all the specifics and details have been closely guarded by the team.

Turnout among season ticket holders, team supporters and sponsors at Highmark Stadium for the event is expected to be pretty strong.

Dignitaries from our region will also be on hand as the Mayor of Pittsburgh Bill Peduto will be in attendance — and word has it that KDKA-TV’s Bob Pompeani has been tabbed at the host of the ceremony — and we’ll probably see a few local celebrities in attendance.

You can follow along as the Hounds will have it available on the club’s Facebook page.

The club has shown signs and provided some teasers of the team’s upgraded new look.

This much we already know:

The franchise has certainly been through its share of ups and downs since opening Highmark Stadium in 2013 — and starting up way back in 1999.

With the addition of highly successful pro soccer coach Bob Lilley taking the helm in running the team for the 2018 season, the Hounds are hoping to capitalize and turn the page despite underachieving both in fan support and on the field since Highmark Stadium opened.

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Lilley even cited that one of the exciting things about coming to Pittsburgh — was it provided a franchise with greener pastures then Rochester, where despite much success on the field, including winning a USL Championship in 2015, they had to suspend operations for the 2018 season due to finances.

Lilley believes that there’s an unlimited promise for soccer reaching a much higher ceiling in this area.

“Seeing everything that’s being done with the youth here. We lacked that model in Rochester, and Jason (Kutney) and the staff here have done to grow that. The new field being put in (in Montour Run). Corporate sponsors that are on board. It’s a different Pittsburgh than five, seven, eight years ago,” Lilley boasted.

Only three years ago, the Riverhounds franchise was facing a desperate hour — and  team owner Tuffy Shallenberger was able to keep the team afloat after financial overruns from previous ownership mostly due to overflowing costs of building Highmark Stadium. Shallenberger and his accountants were able to engineer a restructuring that saw the organization work its way in and out of bankruptcy court.

That’s now in the past — as the Hounds are steamrolling forward and entering a ‘new era’.

Let the fun begin.