On behalf of the Riverhounds Pro Team and Front Office, I would like to extend a sincere "thank you" to the Army members who came out to support the Hounds through a crazy ride!
As happens with young, rebuilding teams, it takes time to gel. This was certainly the case with the 2010 Hounds, but thanks to the efforts of Justin, Rotz, and Gene, as a Coaching Staff, we absolutely found the right formula.
It was great to see such a young group of players come to understand the professional game under the direction of the Coaches and the Veteran players. I certainly spent much more time this year explaining life at the pro level to various rookies and I know Salsi, Shintaro, Travis, Pierce, and Hunter did the same. By the middle of the season, a bond formed that would keep us close through the final bus ride.
Obviously we're all disappointed in our match on Saturday. We didn't do enough to win, and Richmond, as a veteran team, took advantage of the situation. But as we reflect on the seaon, we take many positives with us.
Our Pro Team is a winner - its proven now. The heart, the passion, and the skill all combined to land us in a deserved 3rd Place. Our Academy has grown and allowed us to attract and sign the players to reach this level.
That Academy is now considered the top technical training program in Western Pa, and we're very proud of that. We have young stars coming through the pipeline, and its a pleasure to see the support we receive from these families on gameday! The money from all of these programs goes DIRECTLY back into the pro team. Our majority owner is one of the most selfless individuals I have ever met. He supports what we all support - the Club first! We are making headway toward an outdoor complex!
So, 2010 has been a marked improvement. As we look forward to 2011, we will be working hard to improve. We have a long way to go!
Personally, I know there have been ups and downs with the Army support, but I cannot stress enough how much I owe you all for your continued support. I started this and I want to see this through. I want nothing more than to look each and every one of you in the eyes when we cut the tape on a new stadium. I have dealt with a back injury that is certainly something I have to take seriously. I am going for testing very soon and will need to respect the doctor's recommendations. My on-field work will never end until it has to. I love the game and cannot live without it. I hope to play in front of the Army again, and I will work my ass off to make sure I'm fit and ready. As Justin knows, the top 11 play. I fight like everyone else to be in the top 11.
As for the Army, I hope 2011 shows a return of the 12th Man! The return of what all other USL Clubs grew to hate!