Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC has acquired defender Joe Farrell via transfer from fellow USL Championship club Phoenix Rising FC. | Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced on Thursday the club had acquired defender Joe Farrell via transfer from fellow USL Championship club Phoenix Rising FC ahead of the 2023 season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
Farrell joins the Hounds after five seasons with Phoenix, where he appeared in 128 matches — second-most in Rising FC history. During that time, the 6-foot-2 center back helped anchor a defense that won the Western Conference in 2018 and 2020 and finished with the USL Championship’s best record in 2019.
The transfer reunites Farrell with Hounds coach Bob Lilley, for whom he played in his first two professional seasons with the Rochester Rhinos. In his first campaign in 2016, Farrell was a finalist for USL Championship Rookie of the Year and was voted to the Championship All-League Second Team. He appeared in 64 league matches for the Rhinos, missing just two games in two seasons. In addition to his defensive work, he has 15 goals in his seven years as a pro.
“Joe is an experienced center back that is very strong in the tackle and has a presence in the air,” said Lilley. “He is also comfortable on the ball and a good organizer from the back line. I’m excited to bring Joe to Pittsburgh after seeing his habits and quality for two years in Rochester.”
Farrell is a native of Blue Bell, Pa., in suburban Philadelphia, and he played his college soccer at La Salle University from 2012-15. While in college, he also played for the New York Red Bulls U-23s.
Farrell joins a core group of seven confirmed returning players from last year’s Riverhounds team that reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The team continues to negotiate with new and returning players in preparation for the 2023 USL Championship season beginning in March.