By: Jon Kimble

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Riverhounds signed midfielder Danny Earls for the remainder of the 2016 season on a one-year deal.

Earls played for the Hounds in 2014 and 2015, making 52 appearances and scoring 4 goals for Pittsburgh. Danny’s contributions came mostly on the defensive end, playing as a holding midfielder right in front of the back line. He became a fan favorite for his tough tackles and high energy; his return is welcomed to the team, who has struggled in 2016 so far. He also served as team captain, showing leadership with relentless effort and unwavering toughness.

Earls joins the Hounds ahead of the return of fellow midfielder Rob Vincent, who will join Pittsburgh for a one-game loan Saturday night against Charleston. Danny, though, will not be ready for the game Saturday, so there will be no reunion with Vincent.

He will, however, be able to team up again with Kevin Kerr when Danny returns to the field. The pair, combined with Vincent, made a strong midfield for Pittsburgh the past two seasons, with Danny covering the two as they swept forward to create chances.

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Earls has not been playing so far in 2016, but there were rumors he was going to rejoin the Rochester Rhinos, the USL team he played for before Pittsburgh. Danny also played in the MLS, winning a championship with the Colorado Rapids in 2010.

The Hounds return to action Saturday when they host the Charleston Battery at Highmark Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Pittsburgh is coming off a loss to New York last Saturday and is looking to get back to winning ways.

With the return of Earls and Vincent, though for one game in Rob’s case, the front office is trying to bring back some positivity to the squad — something there has been little of in 2016 for Pittsburgh. With a record of 1-5-3, the Hounds sit second from bottom in the East. There is a lot of time left in the USL season, and Pittsburgh has two games in hand on most teams in the league.