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Lineup mainstay Wharton feels right at home in Pittsburgh

By Maggie Williams, 07/07/21, 12:15PM EDT

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First-year Hounds midfielder quickly fitting in on and off the field

Riverhounds midfielder Todd Wharton has done a good job fitting in — with the Hounds and in Pittsburgh.

Wharton has been an asset to the team due to his versatility. Playing some in the center of midfield, some out wide and even a few times on defense, he has been all over the field, and he’s almost certain to be in the side again for Wednesday’s 4 p.m. game at the Charleston Battery.

“Being adaptable and open to new challenges helps when it comes to playing,” Wharton said.

It has helped in his personal life, too.

Wharton recently moved to Shadyside as a full-time Pittsburgh resident with his girlfriend, a Western Pa. native. When he’s not on the pitch, you might spot him on the streets of Shadyside walking his 7-month-old golden retriever puppy — a dog who is a ball of energy, but Wharton is grateful to have in his family.

A long list of items came to mind when Wharton was asked about his favorite things being with the Hounds. For starters, he loves the team dynamic created this season.

“We have a great locker room and a group of guys who are willing to put in the work when needed,” Wharton said. He added that he loves the beautiful skyline view from Highmark Stadium and looks forward to coming to practice.

Prior to his Pittsburgh move, Wharton never found himself staying in one place for an extended period. 

Wharton grew up in Richmond, Va., and graduated from University of Virginia with his girlfriend, who he met there. He relocated to Texas to play for his first USL team, Rio Grande Valley FC. After three years, he joined Portland Timbers II in 2019 and later made the move to Saint Louis FC. Eventually, he signed with the Hounds in 2021 and has made a true home for himself.

Away from the stadium, there are plenty of places he likes to visit within the city.

“I mostly hang out in Shadyside, since I live there, and Lawrenceville. Another one of my favorite places to go is the North Shore because of all the events that happen there,” Wharton said.

Like so many who move to Pittsburgh, Wharton has quickly scouted out the city’s food scene.

“I love barbecue and Thai food, so I’m always looking for good restaurants to try. One of my favorite places is a barbecue place called Walters in Lawrenceville,” Wharton said.

Having only been in the city a few months, Wharton has time to find new spots around town. But as one of just six players who has appeared in every match this season for the Hounds, the most likely place to find him is on the field on game day.