Pittsburgh – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are pleased to announce the addition of Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger to the Club’s ownership in a move that will immediately position the Club to become one of the nation’s benchmark professional organizations.
An extremely successful business owner in the field of construction project management, the 46 year-old Shallenberger has played a key role in the development of soccer facilities in his hometown of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Shallenberger began discussions with The Riverhounds Academy management out of an interest in bringing the technical training model to young players from the Connellsville area. The addition of Shallenberger is a powerful step forward in the development of the Riverhounds full professional model, a step that will include the geographic expansion of The Riverhounds Academy into new markets, immediate access to indoor and outdoor facilities for the launch of new skill-based league programming east of the City, state-of-the-art facilities currently in conceptual design phase, corporate sponsorship to support youth players involved in the highly successful Riverhounds Academy system, and new permanent staffing to offer unparalleled resources to local athletes as the area’s only professional soccer organization. Shallenberger officially marks his new position within the ownership group of the 14 year old Club in extremely exciting fashion, bringing the first-ever international soccer match to Highmark Stadium and setting the red-hot Hounds against current FA Cup holders, Wigan Athletic FC of England.
The July 19 match will be the first international friendly in downtown Pittsburgh since AS Roma fell to Chelsea at Heinz Field in July of 2004, in front of 25,137 fans. Immediately following the match, Pyrotecnico will dazzle all in attendance with an amazing fireworks display, capping off a truly memorable sports event in America’s most passionate sports city.
The intimate seating, majestic views of the downtown Pittsburgh skyline, and a full array of beers from around the globe will enhance the international sporting experience at America’s newest soccer stadium. The night before the match, Wigan will take to the field for a training session led by recently hired manager and ex-Irish international, Owen Coyle. Coyle, previously with Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League, will make the team available for autographs and photo opportunities following the session, including the chance for fans to snap shots with the actual FA Cup trophy.
According to Riverhounds CEO, Jason Kutney, the two-night event, which will provide an up close and personal fan experience with top level pro players, is an indication of what the Riverhounds are all about, and the direction they are heading with Shallenberger on board.
“Tuffy is 100% in this to push the game forward through unique soccer opportunities in a world-class professional environment,” said Kutney. “He is a self-made success story who has a vision that completely aligns with our own. This is an enormous step forward for the game of soccer in Western Pennsylvania and I truly believe people will look back on this as a pivotal moment for the evolution of the game in our market.”
Individual and group ticket packages will be going on sale for the international friendly on Monday, July 1. However, as part of a special pre-sale event for all current Personal Seat License (PSL) holders and members of the Club’s Supporters Group, the Steel Army, secure ticketing options will open on Friday so as to provide a first-shot at tickets that are expected to sell out very quickly. The opportunity to watch one of England’s most well-known Clubs take on Pittsburgh’s pro team will make for an amazing experience for all soccer fans, many of whom are expected to be driving in from outside areas to take in the event.
“This is a must-see for any fan of the game,” continued Kutney, who on Friday, was honored as the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
“To bring one of the world’s top Clubs to Pittsburgh, to play within a first-class facility like Highmark Stadium, and to add a brilliant fireworks show following the match, this will be an absolute treat for any sports fan, and a fitting way to introduce the new-look Riverhounds
ownership group to Pittsburgh!”
Wigan is currently the holder of England’s most storied trophy, the FA Cup, following their 1-0 defeat of Manchester City at the end of the 2012-2013 season. In winning the Cup, Wigan has earned a spot in the UEFA Europa League where they will compete against Europe’s top Club in the coming year.
“This is such a great opportunity for the Riverhounds organization, its pro team, and all Hounds fans to take in a game of the highest level right here in our own back yard, at our very own, brand new stadium. As a soccer fan, I am not sure what else you could really want – it is quite simply going to be a spectacular night for all to enjoy,” stated Riverhounds Head Coach, Justin Evans.
Shallenberger will join Kutney and other members of the ownership group at the end of July, heading to Kansas City for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game. There, the group will convene with USL Pro ownership and management and will enter into dialogue with Major League Soccer in order to ensure the Pittsburgh side is doing its part to align with the highest standards of the domestic game.
“It is important that the Pittsburgh Riverhounds develop a tradition of winning, and for this to happen, there needs to be a sharp focus on what it takes to be the best and the resources to reach and sustain that point must be made available,” commented Shallenberger. “I believe this Club is headed in the right direction and is doing things the right way, focusing on quality, and I am committed to helping us reach the next level.”
Due to the international friendly, the Riverhounds USL PRO match against the Wilmington Hammerheads that is scheduled for Saturday, July 20 will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 21 at 3:00 p.m. If patrons are unable to make the rescheduled game, Ticketmaster will provide a full refund to them. More information will be sending an email to all patrons who have currently purchased tickets regarding information for the July 20 game change.