Pittsburgh Riverhounds News Release -- www.riverhounds.com
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are pleased to announce the re-signing of Hunter Gilstrap for their inaugural season at Highmark Stadium, pending USL and USSF approval. A star goalkeeper for the Riverhounds over the past three years, Gilstrap has signed a two-year contract with the club that will see him anchor the defense for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
“I’m thrilled that we are able to obtain Hunter’s services on and off the field for the next two years. Undoubtedly, Hunter has been one of the best goalkeepers in the USL throughout his career,” said Head Coach Justin Evans. “I’m most proud of his growth off the field within the Pittsburgh soccer community, and the community as a whole. In my opinion Hunter has been, and will continue to be, a huge asset to this organization.”
Since coming to Pittsburgh in 2010, Gilstrap has played a key role in the success of the Riverhounds' organization. Gilstrap helped lead the Riverhounds to consecutive postseason berths for the first time in club history in 2010 and 2011, while being recognized as the USL Second Division Goalkeeper of the Year in his debut season.
According to the 6-foot-3 goalkeeper from Lexington, S.C., the decision to extend his time in Pittsburgh came easily.
“I couldn't be happier to be staying with the 'Hounds. I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to be extended this opportunity," Gilstrap said. "This organization has been great to me since I showed up here almost three years ago. With all the exciting things going on, especially having a brand new stadium to play in, deciding to stay was a no-brainer for me.”
Along with representing the First Team on the field, Gilstrap has been instrumental in establishing a goalkeeper-specific training program within The Riverhounds Academy. Gilstrap has designed, implemented, and continually enhanced a curriculum for goalkeepers from the ages of 10 to 18, improving the technical skillsets and tactical components needed for elite goalkeepers.
“Another great thing about this club is how they have supported our efforts to develop a youth goalkeeper academy as part of The Riverhounds Academy,” said Gilstrap. “We have worked hard over the past three years to establish The Riverhounds GK Academy from basically nothing. Current Riverhounds backup GK Greg Blum and former 'Hounds GK Derek Yobbi have been instrumental in helping create a curriculum for our keepers that's helping them to get better every time they show up. We started with around 10 GK's in 2010 and we are close to 60 now, and we plan to keep going. It's very exciting!”
Along with Pittsburgh Riverhounds GK Coach, Jeroen Walstra, Gilstrap has elevated his status, locally, as a go-to trainer for the area’s elite goalkeepers. Serving as an assistant men’s coach for the University of Pittsburgh and contracted by the PA West Soccer Association for various goalkeeper needs, Gilstrap has embodied the first-class approach to youth development that has characterized The Riverhounds Academy since its inception in 2007.