PITTSBURGH (March 14, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC has announced another addition to its roster for the 2018 season, signing preseason trialist and 2017 NCAA Division II Player of the Year Thomas Vancaeyezeele. The deal runs one year with a club option for the 2019 season and is pending USL and USSF approval.
Coming to the club on trial during the fourth week of training camp, Vancaeyezeele [Van-Kuh-yuh-zeal] has made two preseason appearances for the Hounds, notably providing a key assist on Romeo Parkes’ eventual game-winning goal against Penn FC this past weekend.
“Thomas’ biggest strength is his tactical awareness,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “For a young player, he reads the game well, makes good decisions and is technically very competent.”
Starring at defender for the Golden Eagles, Vancaeyezeele captained Charleston to its first national championship in program history in 2017. He started all 24 of his games played and recorded four goals and two assists en route to National Player of the Year honors.
Spending two seasons in West Virginia, Vancaeyezeele’s accolades extend well past Player of the Year, also earning United Soccer Coaches First Team All-America, First Team All-Mountain East Conference and Mountain East Conference Defender of the Year recognition.
A native of Caen, France, Vancaeyezeele began his soccer career with fourth-tier club Stade Malherbe Caen II of the French Championnat National 2 during its 2011-12 season. He later joined Hérodville of the Championnat National 3 for its 2013-14 campaign, when he posted 20 games played for the fifth-tier team.
The addition of Vancaeyezeele marks the first rookie to join the club this season, as the current roster sits at 22 players under contract heading into the 2018 opener on Saturday, March 24 at Nashville SC.
Preseason action for the Hounds wraps up this weekend with a visit from Villanova University on March 17 at Highmark Stadium. Kick off is set for 1:30 p.m., and the match is free to attend for all fans. For more information, visit Riverhounds.com.
Roster breakdown for 2018 season
Forwards (4): Kay Banjo, Neco Brett, Dennis Chin, Romeo Parkes
Midfielders (9): Mouhamed Dabo, Ben Fitzpatrick, Bakie Goodman, Kenardo Forbes, Joe Holland, Christiano François, Kevin Kerr, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Ben Zemanski
Defenders (6): Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover, Joe Greenspan, Ray Lee, Todd Pratzner, Hugh Roberts
Goalkeepers (3): Mike Kirk, Dan Lynd, Kyle Morton