PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Riverhounds open the 2018 USL regular season Saturday night in Nashville against expansion Nashville SC with kickoff at 6 p.m.
The game can be seen live on the Pittsburgh CW as with many other matches this season.
The Hounds are eager to start the 2018 campaign after a busy winter offseason in which the organization unveiled a new logo and a new manager in historically successful USL coach Bob Lilley.
Lilley comes from former USL club Rochester Rhinos and boasts a very impressive record, going 54-28-16 and winning the USL Championship in 2015.
It’s a level of success that the Riverhounds have not been able to attain since moving into Station Square’s Highmark stadium in 2013. Lilley is the fifth Pittsburgh manager in that time and is confident he can change that,
“You got to make sure you continue to move forward because the league is always going to get better,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to build a consistent winner here that’s in the playoffs every year and ultimately wins a championship.”
On the field, Pittsburgh will be bringing in a mix of experienced professionals and exciting young players to mix with the returning squad members from 2017.
One of the players returning for Pittsburgh will be Kevin Kerr, longest tenured Hound entering his sixth season with the team, and striker Romeo Parkes entering his third. Also returning are defenseman Joe Greenspan and forward Kay Banjo, who were key contributors to last year’s team.
Coming in to Pittsburgh will be MLS veteran midfielder Ben Zemanski and prolific USL striker Dennis Chin.
Zemanski played with Major League Soccer outfit Portland Timbers for the past five seasons, winning a championship with the team in 2015. Chin, who played last season in Europe, is returning to the states to league he once dominated. Chin is a former USL scoring leader and league champion hoping to bring that level success to the Hounds.
The Riverhounds have played well in their preseason matches against a mix of games against local college teams and other USL teams in the region, going 7-1.
The new logo, introduced by the team earlier this year, encompasses more of the Pittsburgh sports tradition of the black and gold and also the team’s history and namesake. Owner Tuffy Shallen-berger spoke to how he thinks the change can be a big positive this season.
“This logo, this new era, has been something I’ve wanted to give the fans for a long time,” he said. “We hope everyone can see the passion and dedication that went into this entire process, as we look to continue to build on and off the field and become part of this city’s rich sports culture.”
The Riverhounds return to Pittsburgh for the home opener March 31 against Penn FC, 7 p.m. at Highmark Stadium.