PITTSBURGH (March 3, 2020) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC has signed midfielders Dakota Barnathan and Danny Griffin each to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season, pending USSF and USL Championship approval.
Barnathan has been trialing with the team since camp opened at the start of February whereas Griffin began trialing with the club during the second week of its preseason.
Barnathan brings three years of USL Championship experience to the Hounds, having last played for Ottawa Fury FC in 2019 and Sporting Kansas City II from 2017-18. With Fury FC last season, he posted a career-high 24 games played and the first two points (both assists) of his professional career.
"We like Dakota’s technical qualities and his ability to read the game,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “We see Dakota playing more in the midfield for us, but he is also capable of playing in the center back position."
While with Sporting Kansas City II, he helped the squad reach the 2017 USL Championship title match. During this postseason run, Barnathan started all four of the team’s games and showcased versatility while playing both in the midfield and on the backline.
The Massapequa, New York native has 45 appearances and two assists in his USL Championship career.
Whereas Barnathan brings previous professional experience, Griffin will enter his rookie campaign with the Hounds. Before arriving in Pittsburgh, the Providence College product was drafted by Columbus Crew SC with the 49th overall selection in the second round of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
"Danny is a player who works hard for the team and has good ideas in attacking areas,” Lilley said. “He has impressed since he has arrived in camp, and we are hopeful he will continue this progress throughout the season."
Griffin played collegiately at Providence from 2016-19 and made an instant impact on the team. He started all 20 of his matches played as a freshman and was a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team. He also was named All-Great Lakes Region Third Team for his freshman season. He capped his time with the Friars with an All-Big East Third Team selection as a senior.
The Wethersfield, Connecticut native finished his collegiate career at Providence with 80 games played (80 starts), 13 goals and six assists.
Riverhounds SC now has 19 players under contract for the 2020 season.
Roster breakdown for 2020 season:
Forwards (4): Steevan Dos Santos, Lukas Fernandes, Mark Forrest, Ropapa Mensah
Midfielders (6): Dakota Barnathan, Kenardo Forbes, Danny Griffin, Robbie Mertz, Dani Rovira, Anthony Velarde
Defenders (7): Xhelil Asani, Jordan Dover, Ryan James, Mark Lindstrom, Skylar Thomas, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Tony Walls
Goalkeepers (2): Anthony Mwembia, Danny Vitiello