The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are pleased to announce that Jamaican goalkeeper Ryan Thompson and Ghanaian midfielder Stephen Okai have agreed terms for the 2015 USL PRO season.
In addition, Canadian forward Miroslav Cabrilo will return to Highmark Stadium after signing his first professional contract with the Riverhounds last year.
Thompson, 30, has played for Jamaica’s national team on two occasions after previously appearing for the Reggae Boyz at the Under-20 and U-23 levels. He has been a regular part of the national team set-up in recent years. Thompson spent last season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League before helping his country to lift the Caribbean Cup in November.
The Kingston native became the first Jamaican to play in the UEFA Champions League in July 2011 when he kept goal for Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers in a 1-0 loss at F.C. Copenhagen. Thompson later played against English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, Russia’s Rubin Kazan and PAOK of Greece when the Rovers reached the group stages of the Europa League.
“We expect big things out of Ryan,” said Riverhounds head coach Mark Steffens.
“He can be acrobatic, he has the ability to make big saves under pressure, and he is also very clean and steady.”
Okai, 25, played for Steffens during the 2013 season when the Charlotte Eagles reached the USL PRO championship game before losing to Orlando City. He spent last year with the Orange County Blues, scoring twice in 26 league appearances.
“Stephen is the consummate playmaker who makes everyone around him better,” Steffens said. “He is extremely hard to dispossess.”
Cabrilo, a graduate of Robert Morris University, joined the Riverhounds last May after impressing Pittsburgh’s coaching staff in pre-season games against RMU and in training sessions with the team. The 22-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario featured in 12 league games last year and scored two goals.
“I like Miro’s ability to hold the ball while under a lot of pressure,” Steffens said. “He can also be creative in the attacking third and is a quality finisher.”