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Syosset's Mark Steffens leaves Riverhounds

PITTSBURGH -- Syosset, N.Y. native and head coach Mark Steffens has left the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

On Saturday, Riverhounds owner Tuffy Shallenberger and Steffens mutually agreed to part ways.

U.S. Naval Academy coach Dave Brandt was named Sunday as Steffens' replacement.

Steffens, in his second season with the USL team, had a 12-13-11 record. The Hounds went 11-9-8 in Steffens’ first season in 2015, earning a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.

Eight games into this season, Pittsburgh is 1-4-3 in the league. The Riverhounds were upset by Lansdowne Bhoys (Cosmopolitan Soccer League), 2-0, in the second round of the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup.

The Riverhounds also were involved in a controversial play on May 7 when forward Romeo Parkes, a Jamaican international, was suspended by the USL and dropped by the club after he kicked Red Bulls II defender Karl Ouimette following a red-card incident.

“We appreciate what Mark has done in his time with the club,” Shallenberger said in a statement. “You never like to see things of this nature happen, but we both agreed this was the best decision for the club’s future. We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Steffens has 20 years of coaching experience in the USL PRO, having won two championships with the Charlotte Eagles. He reached eight USL PRO finals and won two USL trophies twice with the Eagles. He was coach of the year in 2004 and 2008, and was inducted into the USL Hall of Fame in 2007.

His successor, Brandt is the winningest active coach in Division I men’s soccer and four-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America coach of the year.

Brandt spendt the past seven years at the Naval Academy. In his 19 years, Brandt has coached his teams to more than 300 wins and holds a .786 career winning percentage (310-72-34). He is also the fastest coach in NCAA men’s soccer history to reach the 200-win mark.

“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to join the Riverhounds organization,” Brandt said in a statement. “The Naval Academy is an extremely special institution, and one that I will always hold close to my heart. My time there was a truly life-impacting experience, but the opportunity to coach professionally in a great sports city like Pittsburgh is one that I couldn’t turn down. I am now looking forward to my time with the Riverhounds organization, one which without question has great potential.”

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