In honor of the team’s 20th anniversary season, the Riverhounds SC Hall of Fame was established in 2019. The club is thankful to all who have helped propel it forward to its numerous achievements, and the Riverhounds SC Hall of Fame is a symbol of this gratitude.
CLASS OF 2019
JUSTIN EVANS • DAVID FLAVIUS • PAUL HEASLEY • DAVE KASPER • JOHN KOWALSKI
Drafted in a 1999 expansion draft, Justin Evans was selected as the first-ever player in club history. Competing in six campaigns with the club (1999-01, 03, 08-09), the midfielder is one of four players in team history to have recorded at least 100 games played and 50 points (101 career appearances and 50 career points). He was twice named All-League Second Team in his Hounds career (2008-09).
Upon wrapping up a standout collegiate career at Penn State University and St. Bonaventure University, Evans immediately made an impact for the Riverhounds, notching a still-standing single-season club record 14 assists during his 1999 rookie season. Intertwined in his six-year Hounds career, he also suited up for the San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire of MLS, in addition to playing in the indoor soccer ranks.
After his playing career, Evans coached the Hounds from 2010-14. His 112 all-competition matches coached for the club rank the most in its history.
Evans is also a founding member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Youth Academy, which was started in 2007. His efforts helped build the program into its formidable presence as one of the leaders in youth soccer in western Pennsylvania.
JUSTIN EVANS ALL-TIME LEAGUE STATS WITH CLUB
David Flavius holds a number of all-time records in club history, including career games played (183), goals (58) and points (141). His three playoff goals are most in team history. Playing eight straight seasons (1999-06) with the franchise, the striker was twice named All-League Second Team.
The Saint Lucia native played college soccer at Ohio Dominion University from 1995-98 and was the No. 6 overall pick of the Kansas City Attack of the NPSL indoor league in 1998, however he opted to sign with the Riverhounds and immediately became an impact player for the club.
Flavius was named the team MVP four separate times in his eight-year Hounds career and led the club in scoring five times. The striker twice recorded double-digit goals in a season and topped twenty points three separate times, including a career-best 32 points during the 2004 campaign.
DAVID FLAVIUS ALL-TIME LEAGUE STATS WITH CLUB
Founding the franchise on March 11, 1998, Paul Heasley was the original owner of the professional soccer club. Before selling the club in 2004, the Hounds twice advanced to the quarterfinals of the USL A-League playoffs. In 2001, the club made a run into the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The team logged a 16-12 record in its inaugural season en route to Organization of the Year honors.
Spurred on by his son’s interest in youth soccer in the mid-1990s, Heasley was inspired to bring professional soccer back to the Steel City after a 12-year hiatus following the folding of the Pittsburgh Spirit in 1986.
Mr. Heasley passed away in 2013.
Named vice president and general manager upon the team’s conception, Dave Kasper propelled the team to its early success. Among players he helped sign to the professional team in its inaugural season, names such as Randy Dedini, Gary DePalma, Justin Evans, David Flavius and Jaman Tripoli account for five of the 11 players in team history who have recorded at least 100 games played. With his leadership, the club earned Organization of the Year honors in 1999.
Kasper joined the MLS ranks in 2001, and currently serves as the general manager for D.C. United.
As the first-ever head coach in team history, John Kowalski led the team to its first-ever playoff victory and Organization of the Year honors in 1999. Fielding high-scoring attacks, Kowalski-led teams scored an average of 1.84 goals per game – the second most of any coach in club history. He is one of four coaches in franchise history to have led the club for at least 60 games (61 games at the helm).
From 1999-00, he compiled a 28-29-4 record (all competitions) in two seasons as the franchise’s first head coach.
CLASS OF 2022
Gene Klein, a former Hounds coach, general manager, and television broadcaster, was the sole member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Hall of Fame class of 2022. Beginning with the Hounds’ founding in 1999, Klein served as an assistant coach under John Kowalski. In 2006, he was appointed head coach of the Hounds, a position he held through 2009. For the Hounds, Klein’s work both on and off the field was essential, as he oversaw the reorganization of the front office while was serving as general manager in addition to his coaching duties.
The Riverhounds Academy was co-founded by Klein, who also found a home for the squad at his alma mater, Chartiers Valley High School. Klein also forged a partnership with English soccer club Everton FC and introduced the “Everton Way” training methods to the club during the Academy’s early years.
Klein continued to be a significant representative of the club after his time as a coach with the Hounds. He reconnected in the broadcast booth with his longtime coaching partner, Paul Child, from 2014-19, offering analysis on telecasts to a new generation of Hounds supporters.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR INDUCTION?
There are two sides of the ballot — a players’ side and a builders’ side. Players must be retired a minimum of three seasons to be eligible for induction.
HOW ARE HALL OF FAMERS DETERMINED?
The club announces an initial Hall of Fame ballot to be voted on by a committee, which consists of club members, ambassadors and media members. Eligible candidates need at least a three-fourths vote to be inducted.
HOW OFTEN DOES THE CLUB ANNOUNCE A HALL OF FAME CLASS?
The club initially intended to enshrine a class into its Hall of Fame every year through 2023, and every two years after that. Unfortunately, that timeline was not followed because of interruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, the club intends to welcome a full class for 2023 and resume a regular induction schedule — either annually or biennially, to be determined — for subsequent years.
WHY WAS THERE NO HALL OF FAME CLASS FOR 2020 OR 2021?
Due to the pandemic and logistical concerns with hosting a large gathering, the club decided to not induct Hall of Fame classes in 2020 or 2021.