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Morning Java: Another step toward MLS?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will be loaded with Steelers and Penguins, and we’ll open with a discussion about Ben Roethlisberger and whether or not he’s done enough.

Call me with your thoughts at 412-320-7925. I will get your call onto the show.

If you can’t call, email sportstalk@tribweb.com

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’re mobile, try the TribLIVE Radio app.

Hope you can tune in!

>> Taken in pieces, the various news items the Riverhounds unveiled at their Highmark Stadium press conference yesterday: They re-signed their two best players, they announced a controlling owner who pretty much everyone in the local soccer community had been the boss and they discussed a possible expansion of the Steel Army seating area.

No surprises on any of the three fronts, which are covered in detail by beat man Matt Grubba.

But put it all together, and a broader ambition is clear …

Jason Kutney, the savvy CEO doing most of the talking, described retaining Jose Angulo, the USL Pro league MVP and goal-scoring leader, and Matt Dallman, the assist leader, as “a sign we can compete for talent with MLS.” He’s right. The money wouldn’t blow anyone away — probably just under six figures — but it’s genuinely enough to compete for MLS. Good for the Hounds, and good for the sellouts that made it possible.

But what struck me most was hearing Kutney say the Hounds plan to “follow the model set in Orlando” for getting to MLS. The topic’s come up before, but I’d never heard him say it quite that pointedly. Orlando, for those who don’t know, is about to graduate from USL Pro into MLS after averaging about 7,400 at the Citrus Bowl. The Hounds are more than halfway there.

Anyway, here’s a video of a talk with Justin Evans, the head coach who was a player on the original edition of the Riverhounds. Note the train interrupting us at the start …

And here are Angulo and Dallman together, with a rather strong quote from Jose to close …

I’ll have Kutney on the radio show today for more on this MLS stuff.

>> The Steelers hope to flip the script through stronger starts. Alan Robinson reports from the Mike Tomlin press conference, the opening of which is right here …

I was over there at Tomlin, too, and I’ll have some thoughts on the football team for the Thursday column as a result of one of his answers to my questions.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including the latest on the banged-up line.

Here’s Patriots news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Jarome Iginla calls his time with the Penguinsan adjustment,‘ and he’s probably being kind as always. Rob Rossi reports on Iginla and the Bruins being in town.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, with more injury updates.

Here’s Bruins news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> No Gold Gloves for the Pirates’ three finalists. Travis Sawchik has that.

>> Paul Chryst remains a mystery. This is Joe Starkey’s column.

>> One hundred days to Sochi. Karen Price reports from New York on the U.S. commemoration, including a couple of surprising local ties on the slopes.

>> I’ll be with the Steelers in the morning, then back to the studio with a fancy new T-shirt.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

 
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