The following was provided by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds:

PITTSBURGH (November 22, 2016) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy is proud to announce a partnership with Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer to provide high-level skill and fitness programs to soccer players throughout the Western Pennsylvania area.

The partnership comes on the heels of Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer reaching an agreement with the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County. The non-profit organization has been given permission to develop a non-traditional sports athletic complex on 78 acres of land located in Coraopolis Borough, Moon Township and Robinson Township.

The agreement means that the property will remain owned by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County but will be constructed and operated by Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer under a long-term lease agreement with the redevelopment authority.

The first phase of the project includes construction of two synthetic turf fields and one grass field. The fields will be used for Riverhounds Academy training and will also be made available for use by other athletic clubs, associations and teams playing non-traditional sports such as soccer, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey, cricket, Ultimate Frisbee and the like.

Tuffy Shallenberger, owner of the Riverhounds franchise, said the partnership between the Riverhounds Academy and Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer would ensure all area youth soccer players are given the opportunity to train at the highest level regardless of financial means.

“We’re trying to grow the game of soccer and we want all kids to be able to experience the game. We especially want those who show they have the skill it takes to play at a high level being able to train with us. Families can’t always afford elite training, but we don’t want any kid who may have a shot at one day getting a college scholarship missing out on that opportunity,” Shallenberger said. “Being able to offer financial scholarships for Riverhounds Academy training can be a life changer for some of these kids whose families maybe couldn’t afford it otherwise. It will give kids a chance at success they may not have otherwise had.”

In addition, Shallenberger noted the long-term lease agreement reached between Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer and the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County means area youth playing all non-traditional sports will have access to new, high-quality fields.

“Kids playing non-traditional sports are often left playing on football or baseball fields and that doesn’t allow for the best training. These new fields will be built for soccer and lacrosse and other sports that generally don’t have fields of their own in this area. This athletic complex will be their home,” he said.

Additional construction plans for the athletic complex call for a one-mile extension of the Montour Trail that will provide a connection between the Montour and Ohio River walking trails. Other eventual plans also include additional fields, a playground/picnic area, and a possible indoor facility that will house a turfed-area for year-round use.

Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer was formed to raise funds to support and promote the game of soccer for youth, and to provide scholarship opportunities for tri-state area soccer players who have the skill and ability to train at elite levels who otherwise would not financially be able to do so.

The Riverhounds Academy, affiliated with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds professional soccer team, was launched in 2007 to provide young soccer players with a thorough understanding of the game and the skills necessary to perform on the field.

More on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds here.

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