Riverhounds sign Tobi Adewole; Looking at Division 2

Posted on Jan 9 2017 - 4:08pm by Rachael McKriger
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The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have picked up yet another player coming off their college soccer career.

The Riverhounds announced on Monday the signing of defender Tobi Adewole, a former George Washington University player. The Riverhounds now have 21 players signed to their roster for 2017.

Adewole, who is from Maryland, featured in three seasons for the Colonials. He made 64 appearances, with 61 being starts, while scoring five goals and tallying five assists.

In his freshman year, he led his fellow classmates in minutes played, with 1,144 minutes. Due to his high level of performance, he was named the GWU Male Rookie of the Year, in all sports.

In 2015 and 2016, Adewole was tabbed with All-Conference honors. In addition, Adewole was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Midwest Region in 2015.

In 2016, George Washington University finished with an overall record of 8-5-5.

“Tobi is a player I knew from the college game at George Washington,” said head coach Dave Brandt. “He’s a big, rangy center back with long legs and a great tackler with good speed that reads the game well. I believe he’s one of the better center backs in the country at the college level, period. And I think he’s been overlooked by a lot of people.”

Looking at the NASL/USL Division 2 Merger

In addition to the news of Adewole’s signing, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, as well as the entire USL organization, made a step up.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced on January 6 that the Board of Directors voted to grant the USL U.S. Soccer’s Division 2 status. Previously, the NASL held the Division 2 status. Now, both leagues will share it. It is up in the air if both will be combined and given a new name.

“The USL is honored to receive provisional U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2 status, which provides further validation about our League’s financial sustainability, national footprint, ownership quality, stadium infrastructure and player development,” said Alec Papadakis, the USL Chief Executive Officer.

“Our teams have invested more than $100 million into stadium development in the last year to enhance the experience for the 1.5 million passionate fans that attended games in 2016, the 1,000-plus players and nearly 100 coaches that have positioned our League as a highly sophisticated competition model that cultivates strong regional rivalries.”

However, NASL teams have already gone to the USL, including the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury. Both teams are now in the Eastern Conference. Also making the switch to the Eastern Conference- which is the Riverhounds’ conference- is Saint Louis FC. Adding on to the Western Conference will be Reno 1868 FC.

“Building momentum off our U.S. Soccer Division 2 designation last week, USL aims to become one of the most globally recognized second division professional soccer leagues in the world and our expansive national footprint for this season will showcase teams in 21 of the top 50 U.S. media markets,” said USL President Jake Edwards.

“The 2017 USL Season will feature a total of 495 games in 20 states with a focus on enhanced competition, and strong regional rivalries in both Eastern and Western Conferences.”

Both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference will host 15 teams, and the regular season will begin between March 24-26. The USL announced that schedules will be released soon to the public and clubs.

Photo of Tobi Adewole courtesy of Andrew Goodman | GW Hatchet.

Follow me on Twitter, @TheeMcKriger, for all Riverhounds coverage.