The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are continuing to revamp their roster for the 2017 season. A mere three days after signing goalkeeper Keasel Broome, the Riverhounds signed forward John Manga and defender Ritchie Duffie.
Riverhounds head coach Dave Brandt brought the two to Pittsburgh for a trial. Manga played collegiately for the University of Cincinnati, while Duffie played collegiately for Virginia Commonwealth University.
Manga competed with the Bearcats all four years. His best year was his junior year, where he put 10 balls in the net and tallied two assists. In his four seasons, he totaled 16 goals and accumulated 41 starts. His was named an All-American Athletic Conference honoree twice, in 2014 and 2015.
Manga was drafted in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids in the fourth round (63rd overall). However, due to a lower-body injury, he was released by the MLS Western Conference club.
Manga is an international player, hailing from Bunia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, he hasn’t featured in any senior national team matches.
Duffie competed for three seasons, not four, at VCU. As a defender, he scored three goals and assisted on three others. He started in 36 matches after his 2012 arrival from North Carolina Wesleyan. At NCW, he started in 17 matches where he scored four goals and notched two assists.
Brandt had nothing but positive remarks about the two young players.
“(Manga) is a talented, physical forward, who also has a great touch on the ball and great sense of the game tactically,” Brandt said.
About Duffie, Brandt said: “Ritchie is a tall, talented player, who has a great ability to utilize his speed and lengthy strides get up and down the field really well. He’s a converted attacker who has a great attacking sense but is also very good in the back from a pure defending standpoint.”
Manga and Duffie might not be the only players on trials to be signed by the Riverhounds. The team will hold open tryouts December 9-10 at Highmark Stadium.
The team has already invited 23 players to train with Kevin Kerr and Chevaughn Walsh, who are the only players (alongside Broome and now Manga and Duffie) under contract for 2017.
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