Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23

Pittsburgh Riverhounds U-23 was an American soccer team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which began play with the 2014 PDL season. The team was affiliated with and served as a feeder team for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL. The team played in the Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Great Lakes Division.[1] The team plays their home games at Highmark Stadium.[2][3] The final manager of the team was James McCaig.[4][5]

Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23
StadiumHighmark Stadium
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
OwnerTuffy Shallenberger
ManagerJames McCaig
LeaguePremier Development League
20165th, Great Lakes Division
Playoffs: DNQ
WebsiteClub website



On November 26, 2013 it was announced that the Pittsburgh Riverhounds had secured a Premier Development League franchise that would begin play during the 2014 PDL season. At the time, no official name was unveiled but it was indicated that team would play under the Riverhounds umbrella.[2] Riverhounds CEO Jason Kutney stated that the purpose of the team would be to provide standout local college players a place to play in the summer, something that they had not previously had. Kutney also believed that providing the opportunity to stay fit and play soccer in the region year-round would attract more players to the area in addition to providing players with the opportunity to be observed by USL and Major League Soccer scouts. At this time, it was also announced that the team would play their home matches at Highmark Stadium, likely as double-headers with their parent-club's matches[3]


The club's first head coach was Oz Bakirdan who was also head coach of the Illinois Central College Cougars at the time.[6] The club's first match was scheduled for May 23, 2014 on the road against Chicago Fire Premier at Toyota Park.[7][8] The Riverhounds went on to lose the match 1-2.[9] The club played its inaugural home match at Highmark Stadium on June 4, 2013. The match ended in defeat also, with the Riverhounds losing 0-4 to the Michigan Bucks.[10] The Riverhounds U23 finished the season in last place in the Great Lakes Division with 7 points from 14 matches. For their inaugural season, Geordhy Pantophlet was the team's top scorer with 7 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in 10 matches played.[11] During the club's first season, at least 12 players from local colleges appeared on the 26-man roster.[12]


Prior to the 2015 PDL season, Josh Rife replaced Oz Bakirdan as head coach.[5] Riverhounds U23 finished the season slightly improved over the previous with one more win and draw. However, the team again finished 6th in the Great Lakes Division and missed the playoffs.[13] Lucas Silva and Jason Twum led the team in scoring with two goals each.[14]


In April 2016 it was announced that Rife was replaced as head coach by Englishman and former Arsenal F.C. youth coach James McCaig. Riverhounds U23 again competed in the Great Lakes Conference of the Central Division. The club opened its season on May 25, 2016 against the Michigan Bucks.[4]


The club was disbanded following the 2016 season with limited resources being cited as the cause.[15]


Season Division League Record (W-L-D) Points Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup Top Scorer(s) Reference
6th, Great Lakes Did not qualify Not eligible Geordhy Pantophlet (3)
6th, Great Lakes Did not qualify Did not qualify Lucas Silva
Jason Twum (2)
5th, Great Lakes Did not qualify Did not qualify Anthony Virgara (3)


Managerial history

# Head Coach Seasons WLTAppWLTWL Honors
PDL Regular Season PDL Playoffs U.S. Open Cup
1Oz Bakirdan[16]20142111000000
2Josh Rife[13]2015392000000
3James McCaig2016284000000

Notable former U23 players

Players who have signed for the Riverhound's first team:

Players who have signed for other professional clubs:


  1. "PDL 2014 Standings". United Soccer Leagues. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  2. "Riverhounds Add PDL Franchise". uslsoccer.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  3. Veronica, Nick (November 26, 2013). "Riverhounds become Major League Soccer affiliate". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  4. "HOUNDS APPOINT MCCAIG TO LEAD PDL TEAM". Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  5. Nightingale, Richard. "A MESSAGE FROM TEAM PRESIDENT RICHARD NIGHTINGALE". Steel Army. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  6. "Rife Appointed As Riverhounds U23 Coach". USL PDL. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  7. Snyder, Larry. "Pittsburgh Riverhounds Sign Six Before Heading To Houston For Preseason Camp". cityofchampionssports.com. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  8. "2014 PDL Schedule". United Soccer Leagues. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  9. "Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23 at Chicago Fire U-23 1:2". PDL. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  10. "RIVERHOUNDS U-23 TEAM DROPS INAUGURAL MATCH AT HIGHMARK STADIUM TO MICHIGAN BUCKS". Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  11. "2014 Stats". PDL. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  12. Powell, Mark. "Panthers become Riverhounds for the summer". The Pitt News. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  13. "2015 PDL Standings". PDL. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  14. "2015 Stats". USL PDL. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  15. Krysinsky, John. "Hounds Form Affiliate Partnership with PDL Nor'easters". Pittsburgh Soccer Report. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  16. "2014 PDL Standings". PDL. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  17. "2016 Season". PDL. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
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