The Riverhounds FC improved their preseason record to 3-0-0 with a convincing win over Slippery Rock University last night. The Hounds have now scored eleven times in three games while conceding a single goal. This is a measured improvement over the 2008 and 2009 preseason contests where the Hounds struggled to find offense. The six to nil drubbing of SRU looks to be a culmination of a new approach taken by the club in 2010.
The Riverhounds took major steps to improve their organization this past off-season by naming Evans gaffer, promoting Gene Klein to Director and adding Meghan Arrico to perform Public Relations duties. John Rotz was also named as an assistant coach, rounding out an impressive staff which also includes football gurus Paul Child and Jeroen Walstra.
After solidifying the front office, attention was focused on improving the on-field performance of a club that missed post-season play for the second straight year in 2009. The Riverhounds made a major splash in 2010 by signing high-scoring forward Chad Severs away from rival Harrisburg City. Following that was the acquisition of Japanese defensive midfield standout Shintaro Harada, who most recently starred for Crystal Palace Baltimore. However, the Hounds were just getting started. Veteran keeper Hunter Gilstrap was brought in along with young, attacking talents Alex Weekes and Matt Baker. Steel Army favorite, Travis MacKenzie, returns to the club where he started his pro career in 2008. There are also a slew of young, hungry players competing for roster spots as we get closer to the April 17th opener at Real Maryland.
The 2010 campaign started with a bang and has been running on all cylinders ever since. Will this momentum carry us to glory? Perhaps...but right now I am enjoying the prospects of a long run in the US Open Cup and post-season play.