Written by Colin Williams

Pittsburgh has always been a football city. Most recently, it has become a “football” city that more internationalists recognize thanks to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, our local football team USL Championship (for context you can think of USL-C as the equivalent of AAA or G NBA League baseball). Are you a longtime fan or want to pay more attention this season? Here’s a preview of what awaits you at the stadium and on the field this year.

👟 The team has listed several fresh players, some through Pete. In recent years, a conveyor belt has unfolded between Pete’s men’s football program and Hounds. Recent signatures with the Panthers pedigree include Arthur Ardanes, Robbie Dambrot and Shane Widt (the latter of which received an award as one of the 11 best USL-C players last week). Returning veterans include USL-C captain and all-time leader Dane Kelly, midfielder Kenard Kenny Forbes and defender Danny Rovira.

🏆 Coach Bob Lily told a news conference earlier this season on Tuesday that “talent has never been the best” and he expects the team to appear for the fifth straight season. Currently, Riverhounds SC is one of three teams in the USL-C that have come out in the last four playoffs in a row. Last weekend the team already scored three points 0-3 against Memphis 901. Their home start this Saturday against Hartford Athletic, and full season schedule includes home fights with rivals Charleston and Tampa Bay.

🐝 Do you like the retro look of Bumblebee Steelers? You will enjoy the new Hounds kits. Their new look of the house is a classic design with yellow hoops on a black background. Another change from last year is the addition of 84 Lumber as the sole sponsor. They will appear on the front of the third jersey and the jerseys of the goalkeeper “Hounds”, as well as on the back of the main and secondary jerseys. The Riverhounds command store is filled with all four faces, as well as many other new products that will begin this season.

🥟 Heimark Stadium changed food and beverage vendors –now they will work with the French catering giant Sodexo, which currently makes concessions to teams like the Miami Dolphins, as well as colleges and hospitals. Sodexo adds a local flavor, including pie and sausage. The stadium is also moving to a non-cash box office and adding more outlets to cut queues.

Large gray container with a slit on one side and railings on top.

🏟 The stadium is also being renovated and it is still under development. New additions include “party containers” (pictured top right) located in different side locations. Each container can be rented for large groups of 30-60 people who want to sit next to the action or watch from the deck of the roof of the containers. On Tuesday, team owner Tafi Schalenberger also teased about upgrading suites in the northern part of the stadium during the year. He said the team is considering expanding the reception sections and supporters later.

🏗 Riverhounds Football Complex in Karaapolis also nearing completion. Upon completion, the complex will include offices for the Hounds team and youth academy, 10 football, rugby and lacrosse fields and a 22,000-square-foot sports medicine hospital run by the Allegheny Health Network.

📲 Finally, Hounds has a new mobile app and a updated site. The app centralizes team updates, ticket sales, lists and more.

Whether you’re in the Steel Army or just want to try something new this year, Riverhounds is another exciting way to cheer up black and gold. With success after the season and a view of the stadium that rivals PNC Park, this is a great time to check out another Pittsburgh football team!

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