2021 United Soccer Coaches All-America selection Tola Showunmi has signed with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC as he enters the professional ranks this spring. | Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced on Wednesday the club had signed midfielder Burke Fahling and forward Tola Showunmi ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season, with both players signing a one-year agreement with a club option for 2024. The transactions are pending league and federation approval.
Showunmi enters the professional ranks after three successful seasons at the University of New Hampshire. While with the Wildcats, Showunmi was a voted to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team and claimed the America East Conference Striker of the Year in 2021. The 22-year-old also earned America East All-Conference First Team honors in 2021, and Second Team honors last season.
“Tola is a hard-working forward with good size and pace,” said Lilley. “With refinement, he will be a handful for opposing defenses, and we think he will be a great addition for our team here in Pittsburgh.
Showunmi was selected in the Third Round of the 2022 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by Atlanta United FC, but elected to return to New Hampshire instead of turning pro. Over the course of his college career, which included two seasons at Merrimack College, the 6-foot-3 striker scored 27 goals and had nine assists. He also competed last summer in USL League Two for the Seacoast United Phantoms, where he recorded one goal in six appearances across the regular season and playoffs.
Fahling spent the past two seasons with the USL Championship’s Charleston Battery, where he made 27 appearances and notched two goals and two assists in the 2021 season. Last season he went on loan with FC Tucson and logged 27 appearances and had a pair of assists for his new team.
“Burke has had a good preseason with us and brings energy every time he steps on the pitch,” said Hounds Head Coach Bob Lilley said. “He is versatile and can play multiple positions, out wide or in the midfield, and he poses a threat in attacking areas. We’re glad to have him in Pittsburgh for the 2023 USL Championship season.”