In most of the footballing world, the action is just getting started in September. Unfortunately for the Steel Army, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have been leashed till spring. Fear not junkies of the beautiful game, there is plenty of college soccer on the way in Pittsburgh. You’ve got three teams to choose from, but here is why I think you ought to check out the Dukes.
Generally Speaking, We’re Better
Let’s be clear. No one in Western Pennsylvania is going to get confused as an NCAA soccer power house. However, the Dukes generally perform better year in and year out than Pitt and Robert Morris. While it hasn’t translated into a great head to head record, the Dukes have the lowest average RPI over the last four years by a more than ten spots.
History With Hounds
The Dukes have a long history of placing players on the Riverhounds roster. At one point, you may have even called it a pipeline. That’s slowed in recent year’s but club CEO Jason Kutney and reserve Stefan Lundberg are both Dukes. Also worth noting that two Dukes, Adam Clement and Josh Patterson, were selected in the MLS Supplemental draft last year by Vancouver.
First year head coach Chase Brooks teaches real soccer. More often than not, NCAA soccer is played in a very direct manner with teams taking alternating runs at one another. Not Brooks. He seems like a student of the European game and appears to be building a system that revolves around possession, one touch passing and a slower style build up. While the team is still learning the system now, I think they’ll play an attractive brand of soccer when it’s all said and done.
Need I say more? Here is the schedule so get down to Rooney Field and check it out.