MLS Expansion: Pittsburgh Hoping To Follow Orlando’s Footsteps

MLS Expansion: Pittsburgh Hoping To Follow Orlando’s Footsteps

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 30, 2013
  • Features, MLS Expansion, Pittsburgh Expansion


I’ve mentioned Pittsburgh in the past as a possible long-shot/dark-horse candidate for MLS expansion in the future. Possibly the distant future after the league hits the 24 club mark by 2020.

But yesterday the USL-Pro Pittsburgh Riverhounds made an ownership change that could help align them with a MLS plan sooner rather than later. Tuffy Shallenberger became the majority owner of the third division side and more importantly the majority owner of the lovely riverside Highmark Stadium. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette was on the scene to report the change.

“In terms of making this jump and pushing ourselves in an alignment with the MLS at some point, we needed to make some changes on the ownership side,” Riverhounds CEO and former Duquesne player Jason Kutney said.

The club expects to expand the small stadium from 4,000 seats to 6,500 and eventually attempt to hit 7,000 on a consistent basis at the gates. In a press conference yesterday, the Kutney and Shallenberger agreed that hitting that 7,000 mark at the gate could mean that they could then look to the next level, which to them would be MLS.

“I think reasonably, you have to consider that it’s going to be somewhere between seven to 10 years,” Kutney said when asked for a realistic estimate of when his club could join MLS. “When I say reasonably, I think nothing shy of seven to 10 years.

“I believe [the MLS] will be looking in seven to 10 years for a market similar to Pittsburgh,” he said.

Seven years barely breaks the 2020 mark for the 24th club in MLS and 10 pushes beyond that. Still, I do see Pittsburgh as a ‘one day it would be nice’ kind of club to have in MLS.