Hounds bolster defense, acquire Shannon Gomez
June 29, 2017 | By Rachael McKriger
Defenders have come and gone for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this season, but now the club has a semi-permanent defenseman.
The Riverhounds announced on Thursday afternoon that they acquired Shannon Gomez on loan from MLS club New York City FC. Gomez is part of the MLS’ 2017 Standard USL Loan Agreement, which means that he can feature for both clubs. However, the Riverhounds mentioned that Gomez is expected to feature for the rest of the 2017 season in Pittsburgh.
Gomez’s loan was approved, and is eligible to feature for the Riverhounds on Tuesday, when the Hounds host the Charlotte Independence at Highmark Stadium.
Gomez started his career in 2014, signing with W Connection in his native country of Trinidad & Tobago. Gomez featured for W Connection in their four-game appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League.
He joined New York City FC on loan for the 2016 season, and then signed a club deal this past offseason. He has yet to feature for the club, and has only dressed for one match.
Internationally, he has represented Trinidad & Tobago’s senior men’s national team twice. He has featured through the youth national teams as well.
“This was an opportunity for us to acquire a really sharp, quick, experienced young player from a top organization like New York City FC,” said Riverhounds head coach Dave Brandt. “We’ve obviously dealt with some injuries in the back and having a young, talented player like Shannon, who can play right back, will help us moving forward this season.”
The Riverhounds have had issues on defense. The team acquired Minnesota United FC defender Joe Greenspan for two months, but he has since returned to the club. Lalas Abubakar has featured for the Hounds, but is on a match-by-match loan from the Columbus Crew SC.
The Crew are the Riverhounds’ MLS affiliate team, as they’ve also sent Marshall Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth, regularly a midfielder, has even featured on defense. Also helping out on defense has been midfielder/defender Michael Green and midfielder/defender Ben Fitzpatrick.
The Riverhounds are without veteran defender – and former Crew SC member – Rich Balchan for the rest of the season, as he suffered an ACL tear back in May. Meanwhile, Ritchie Duffie has not featured since June 10. Also, Ryan Adeleye has been dealing with a lingering injury, but has made his way back to the practice pitch.
The Riverhounds were without the services of Taylor Washington last weekend, but he was only suspended due to yellow card accumulation. He will return this week.
The Riverhounds and the Independence will feature in the annual Fourth of July match at Highmark Stadium at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Update (6/30 10:44 AM): Rich Balchan tore his Achilles, not his ACL. Thanks to Rich for letting us know.