Riverhounds sign 3 players, will face Toronto in Rochester, N.Y.
With the start of camp less than two weeks away, the Riverhounds did more to fill out their 2018 roster.
The Riverhounds announced Friday they have re-signed midfielder Ben Fitzpatrick and added a pair of goalkeepers, Mike Kirk and Kyle Morton, all on one-year deals with a club option for 2019.
All three players are 23-year-old, second-year pros who took part in the team’s invitation-only tryouts and impressed new coach Bob Lilley enough to land a deal before the start of official practices. The team’s release indicated more players from the tryout would be retained but without contracts for when camp begins Feb. 5.
“The group we signed from our combine were solid throughout,” Lilley said in the statement. “We’re excited and made it a point to get them on board right away. It will also be interesting to have a number of trialists from our combine invited into preseason to show what they can do against our contracted guys.”
Fitzpatrick made nine appearances, including four starts, for the Riverhounds in his rookie season last year out of Ohio State. His signing gives the Riverhounds six players returning who played with the club last year, but Fitzpatrick is the first signed by Lilley after going through the tryout route.
Both of the team’s goalkeepers are Eastern Pennsylvania natives who were on USL rosters last year after finishing their college careers. Kirk was with the Rio Grande Valley Toros after finishing at La Salle, and Morton suited up for Lilley’s Rochester Rhinos after playing at James Madison, but neither made an appearance in a USL match.
The pair gives the Riverhounds three goalies entering camp. Pitt grad Dan Lynd, who started 10 games last season for the Rhinos, signed last month with the team.
Also of note in the team’s release was the absence of forward Chevy Walsh on the updated roster. When asked about the omission, a Riverhounds spokesperson confirmed Walsh is no longer with the team but gave no further details.
The USL also made an announcement Friday that affects the Riverhounds. The league confirmed that Toronto FC II will play four of its regular-season home games this year at Capelli Sport Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., the first of which will be May 5 against the Riverhounds.
The arrangement was made to ensure USL games would be played at Capelli this season. The Rhinos — one of three USL franchises older than the Riverhounds — is taking a year away from fielding a team while reorganizing financially and seeking sponsorship to keep the team from leaving Rochester or folding.