PITTSBURGH (December 29, 2016) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have made two more additions to their roster, signing midfielders Ben Fitzpatrick and Victor Souto to one-year deals, pending USL and USSF approval. Both deals include an option for the 2018 season.
The latest signings come on the heels of re-signing Mike Green earlier this week and continue a busy month of December for the Hounds. The club has now finalized 13 additions to the roster this month and is at 20 players officially under contract for the upcoming season.
Fitzpatrick, 22, comes to Pittsburgh after competing collegiately for Ohio State University and Urbana University, while Souto, 23, joins the club from the University of Akron.
A native of Hilliard, Ohio, Fitzpatrick starred at midfield for Urbana before transferring to Ohio State for his senior year.
“I was able to catch Ben at multiple combines over the past couple months and on each occasion I thought he was really good, one of the top guys there,” said head coach Dave Brandt. “I think he’s an under the radar, smart player that we like a lot with an ability to attack with good speed and good pace.”
With the Division II Blue Knights, Fitzpatrick was a three-time All-Atlantic Region and All-Mountain East Conference (MEC) selection. He was awarded conference Freshman of the Year in 2013, while his junior year as co-captain with the club in 2015 saw him earn Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association (OCSA) All-Ohio First Team recognition and score the game-winning goal in the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game – a 1-0 victory over No. 21 Millersville.
At Ohio State, Fitzpatrick excelled, finishing fourth on the team in points with eight on two goals and four assists. He made 18 appearances, 14 starts, for the Buckeyes, helping the club reach the Big Ten Championship quarterfinals earlier this year.
In all, across his four years of collegiate play, Fitzpatrick tallied 15 goals and 11 assists in 68 career appearances.
Also of note, Fitzpatrick competed for PDL side Michigan Bucks the summer before joining the Buckeyes. He totaled 18 games played with nine goals and three assists en route to helping the Bucks capture their league-record third title.
For Souto, the Sao Paolo, Brazil native comes to the club with 66 career appearances, all starts, with the Zips. Playing both in the attack and defensive midfield, Souto finished his collegiate career with nine goals and three assists. He was named All-Mid-American Athletic Conference (MAC) on two occasions, as well as OCSA All-Ohio First Team in 2014.
“Victor is a top Division I college soccer talent,” Brandt said. “He’s a talented holding midfielder that we’re really excited to have join the club for this season.”
Souto displayed a wide range of skill on both ends of the pitch in his time with Akron. During his freshman year, he helped solidify the Zips defense at midfield, starting in all 22 matches, as the club limited opponents to one or fewer goals in 19 games and nine shutouts overall.
Souto’s junior year saw him excel offensively, as he finished tied for third on the club with eight goals and fifth in total points (19) – both career-highs.
Prior to coming to Akron, Souto spent 10 years in the Corinthians prestigious youth academy.
The current roster for the 2017 season is as follows:
Ryan Adeleye (Club option exercised in December)
Bryan Arguez (Signed to one-year deal on December 15)
Kay Banjo (Signed to one-year deal on November 23)
Keasel Broome (Signed to one-year deal on November 11)
Shane Campbell (Signed to one-year deal on November 23)
Ritchie Duffie (Signed to one-year deal on November 15)
Danny Earls (Club option exercised in December)
Devaughn Elliott (Signed to one-year deal on December 8)
Ben Fitzpatrick (Signed to one-year deal on December 29)
Mike Green (Re-signed to one-year deal on December 28)
Corey Hertzog (Club option exercised in December)
Kenroy Howell (Signed to one-year deal on December 12)
Jamal Jack (Signed to one-year deal on December 15)
Kevin Kerr (Already under contract)
John Manga (Signed to one-year deal on November 15)
Victor Souto (Signed to one-year deal on December 29)
Jack Thompson (Club option exercised in December)
Nick Thompson (Club option exercised in December)
Chevaughn Walsh (Already under contract)
Taylor Washington (Signed to one-year deal on December 20)