Riverhound Evening: Soccer, Booze and Metal Military | Artwork + leisure | Pittsburgh

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Photo: Kaycee Orwig

The Steel Army cheers the Pittsburgh Riverhound.

I was greeted with hot dogs, cornholes and gero shots.

So the tailgate before the game Steel Army, a fan group of the city’s professional soccer team, the Pittsburgh Riverhound SC. With the COVID-19 restrictions lifted in time for the summer, I drove to Highmark Stadium in Station Square on the final day of the game for the full experience to join Pittsburgh’s largest “non-large” sports team. I did.

And let me tell you, you can’t see Hound without the Steel Army. The group’s fan base, which began in 2008 with a semi-improvised gathering of avid soccer fans at Pipers Pub on the South Side, really exploded with the opening of Himark Stadium in 2013. A serious part of the local sports discussion.

Club President Maria Petrillo, who led the Steel Army all these times, who kindly gave me Jell-O-Shots earlier this year, partly because of many founders. Members have spent a lot of time in the group over the past few years. Applying for the Steel Army is a daunting task. Members perform with both the team and the tailgate. During a game we often sing chants in the stands to gather fans, bring instruments and noise makers, and go to away games in groups.

But the current group isn’t concerned about slowing interest. In fact, even after the pandemic, the number of young people playing football in Pittsburgh is increasing and we plan to increase membership this year as well. Pittsburgh is on the road to the River Hound.

This can be clearly seen on the River Hound’s tailgate. People in their twenties are grilling and playing cornholes on the Riverhound’s tailgate, but the whole group of kids is dribbling the ball in circles. The tournament is about connecting and having a good time before the game, but the members are always trying to keep something big in mind. Their current initiative is a pride razor that promises people a donation amount for every River Hound goal scored in June and all the money Persad Center, a local outpatient counseling center for LGBTQ patients.

Knowing that the real army antiques would come out after the game started, I went to the stadium and looked for the best seats. After all, this is almost always the case. The landmark built along the river may not have the infamous skyline of PNC Park, but it is not far away. With only 5,000 seats, the view isn’t a bad one.

But the team has plans for more changes that aim to make it even better.

“We want to offer our fans professional football, but also offer a great matchday experience,” said team president Vic Gregovits. “To be honest, from where I am, all I can control at the end of the day is matchday experience. ”

Gregovits, a Pittsburgh native who took over the team in April, says he’s upgrading the stadium to include riverside seating along the field and two different types of suites with a view of the action from above.

Personally, as I walked down the front door, I found the perfect place to watch the first part of the game from the terraced area just behind the goal. Later four chicken fingers and beer, and I enjoy the action within 4.50 meters of the opposing goalkeeper.

The more I watched the team warm up and the fans slowly coming in, the more I realized what a unique experience this level of sport can offer. Would you like to hang out in the seat where you bought your ticket and have a great view of the entire game? No thanks. Would you like to stand in the open and experience the complexity of the goalkeeper up close, just like I did? Done.

Of course, you can also buy a ticket to sit in the Steel Army section. Most of them filed in at the stadium minutes before kick-off to maximize the tailgate experience. Get ready to be loud. The greatest contribution that a group makes to a team is the atmosphere in the game that the team provides.

“You go to other sports and the stadium and the PA system are very energetic,” says Brokaw. “Here we can do it in a real way.”

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Photo: Kaycee Orwig

The Steel Army cheers the Pittsburgh Riverhound.

From 1 minute it is obvious. You may be used to other sports that follow the decline and flow of the game in terms of stadium energy levels. It’s not a soccer ball, it’s not a river dog. The Steel Army makes you feel their presence from start to finish. Vuvuzela, chants, drums, whatever. Brokaw says some of these chants are at the point where they’ve gone through multiple levels of Steel Army fandom.

“Harrisburg hasn’t been in the league for a few years, but sometimes I hear people say, ‘We hate Harrisburg’ just because they’ve been around for years,” he says. In this case, the Miami goalkeeper, whose last name is Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean, is Thorns.

After Riverhound striker Albert Dicwa called back an offside goal in the first minute, Riverhound enthusiastically scored a beautiful goal for striker Russell Saselone. Shortly afterwards, when I was taking notes from the pole behind the gate, I was approached by two fans without being shy about starting the conversation.

“Scout, what are you?” One of them asked without a prior transfer.

“Well, use this as your headline,” he replied after telling him I was writing about my experience at a Riverhound match. “Local Inzer Says Riverhound Kicks His Ass!”

click to enlarge River Hound Russell Saselone Photo: Chris Kauger

Photo: Chris Cowger

River dog Russell Cycelone

And it’s like in the game. It’s constantly lively, surprisingly intense, and great fun. I saw a man get kicked out for hitting all the objects he found and yelling “I want a goal!” Then he said: “What should I support?” When a guard approaches him. I had a wonderful view of the city. And I’ve seen really good quality football.

Riverhound didn’t really kick their buttocks as the breakdown resulted in a goal that made up for the game at the end of the first half. The game stayed the same, with some controversial no-calls towards the end of the game thrilling the home crowd but eventually leading to a one-on-one tie.

In a city where sports team results can power all areas of the economy, there will be something suitable to end shortly after the game starts. Nobody left a winner here, but everyone still thought it was much better that Saturday started.

Pittsburgh River Hound

Riverhound Night: Football, Booze and Steel Army | Art + entertainment | Pittsburgh

Source Link Riverhound Night: Football, Booze and Steel Army | Art + entertainment | Pittsburgh

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