SPORTS ZONE: Pittsburgh’s Forgotten Futbol Team

Listen to Mike Waterloo on Sports Zone, Saturdays at 11AM, on WTYM AM 1380 radio.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Pittsburgh Passion and how little known they are throughout the community. While the Passion play in the brand new Highmark Stadium in Station Square, they’re the little brother, I mean sister, of the complex. Another team that has bounced around the city and goes unnoticed for the most part is the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Riverhounds, a professional soccer team of the United Soccer League Professional Division, the third-tier of American soccer, has been in Pittsburgh since 1999.

Much like the Passion, the Riverhounds have bounced around to numerous locations since its inaugural season. The Riverhounds have played at different high school fields, Consol Energy Park (yes, there is another stadium sponsored by Consol), but have finally found its home at the 3,500 capacity Highmark Stadium. In 2001, the Riverhounds gained national exposure as it reached the US Open Cup quarterfinals after defeating the Colorado Rapids before losing to the Chicago Fire. The Riverhounds are looking to get back to that level of play.

If we’re being honest, America isn’t a hot bed for soccer at any level. While David Beckham’s stint in Los Angeles increased the MLS’s revenue by over 200 percent, the sport hasn’t caught on fully yet. While you can debate if it ever will gain national recognition or not, if the Riverhounds want to return to supremacy, a move to the MLS is a must. The new stadium with an astonishing look of the skyline and room to renovate is a good start.

THIS WEEK ON THE SPORTS ZONE:

Pittsburgh Riverhounds forward Daniel Holowaty will join me

Dave Yakopec of the Pitt Panthers baseball team will join me to discuss the resurgent program