Riverhounds' leading scorer Rob Vincent headed to D.C. United
February 17, 2016 2:33 PM
The Riverhounds transferred midfielder Rob Vincent to MLS team D.C. United.
By Megan Ryan / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Leading scorer Rob Vincent’s departure from the Riverhounds came as no shock to coach Mark Steffens.
In fact, he’s been planning on it for months.
“I brought Robbie into my office midway through the season and told him that if he kept going in this direction, that we needed to move him on,” Steffens said. “As much as you hate doing that for the Pittsburgh fans and for us here, it’s only fair to soccer in this country and to Robbie to do that.
The English midfielder, who had been with the United Soccer League’s Riverhounds since 2013 and made 88 appearances, notched a breakout season in 2015 that led to a transfer to Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, the Riverhounds announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old had one year left on his contract with the Riverhounds, but the teams’ did not disclose the terms of the deal.
United first caught a glimpse of Vincent after the Riverhounds lost to the MLS side in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup this past summer. The left midfielder scored on a penalty kick in that game. United also has a Pittsburgh connection, as its current general manager, Dave Kasper, was the Riverhounds former general manger when the team first began in the late 1990s.
Vincent scored 18 league goals in 2015, but Steffens said the coaching staff had been preparing to fill that hole toward the end of last season when opponents began heavily defending Vincent and lowering his goal scoring.
“We knew whether we kept him or not we were going to need some attacking players around him or instead of him,” Steffens said. “So we kind of went hard after a number of attacking players.”
While the roster isn’t quite finalized yet, Steffens mentioned new signings forward Corey Hertzog and midfielder Alex Harlley as two players that could step up in the scoring. The Riverhounds also still have midfielder Kevin Kerr and Lebo Moloto, who were the team’s second and third leading scorers.
In a letter posted to the team website, Vincent wrote: ”I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone in the Pittsburgh soccer community for three wonderful years in Western Pennsylvania. I signed my first professional contract with the Riverhounds ahead of the 2013 United Soccer League season. I’ll be forever indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to grow as a player and as a person.”
The Steel Army, the Riverhounds’ supporters section, tweeted its congratulations to Vincent:
So many emotions right now. Hate to see @RV__17 go but super happy for him. Congrats Rob! We know you’ll do us proud #UNLEASH
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