Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC has added three new signings for the upcoming campaign, including former Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Junior Etou. | Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced on Tuesday the club had signed midfielder Junior Etou, defender Michael DeShields and forward Tony Lopez for the 2023 USL Championship season. The transactions are pending league and federation approval.
Etou joins the Hounds having spent the past campaign with fellow Championship club the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where he made 24 appearances in all competitions during the 2022 season. Etou previously competed in the Championship for the Charlotte Independence, where he made 23 appearances across the 2020 and 2021 season.
“We are excited to welcome Junior to Pittsburgh for the 2023 USL Championship season,” said Hounds Head Coach Bob Lilley. “He is a ball-winning midfielder who is very good in transition moments, and his work ethic and tenacity are a very good fit for our team.”
DeShields competed for the New England Revolution II in the past campaign, making 17 appearances for the side in MLS NEXT Pro. Taken with the No. 5 pick in the 2021 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by D.C. United to begin his professional career, the 24-year-old made 14 appearances in the USL Championship on loan with Loudoun United FC in its first professional campaign.
“Mike is a defender who has very good tools from a defensive standpoint, but who also is a very good short- and long-range passer that will help us playing out of the back,” said Lilley. “We also expect him to be a presence in the air on set pieces and look forward to having him with our team in the 2023 USL Championship season.”
Lopez spent the past three seasons with Cal United Strikers FC where he scored 10 goals and added four assists across 42 appearances. The native of Sylmar, Calif., is coming off a career-best seven-goal season for the Strikers in 2022.
“Tony finds good spots in the box and is equally adept at finishing or providing the final pass to set up a teammate,” said Lilley. “We think he adds quality to our forward group and look forward to having him for the 2023 USL Championship season.”