Deutschtown United players line up for a free kick. (Photo courtesy Tara Kavanaugh)
The Northside has a new team in its midst.
Deutschtown United, named for one of the Northside’s traditionally German neighborhood, is planting roots in the Northside community.
“We’re a new team in Pittsburgh soccer,” said team manager, Brandon Myers,
“So last [outdoor] season we were at the bottom of the bottom division.”
This year, Myers reports, the team’s standing has improved. Deutschtown United won their most recent indoor soccer match against the Guerreros—a team that previously bested them two to zero.
“We have quality players who play hard and play well,” said Myers.
Alison Kreisler, a former Division I college athlete, is one of those players. Kreisler plays center midfield for Deutschtown United and Myers describes her as “a great addition to our squad.”
While Deutschtown United plays in the Pittsburgh men’s division, Myers explained that “female players are allowed” and Kreisler “fits in well with our team.”
Kreisler, who is a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh, has been with the team for about six months and explains that she looked “for opportunities to keep playing [soccer] at a reasonably high level” after moving to Pittsburgh.
“Our guys play for a love of the game,” said Myers of the team’s current season, “Winning just takes you up even more.”
While the players of Deutschtown United come from all over the city, the team’s name pays homage to the Northside’s Deutschtown.
Myers describes Deutschtown United as Pittsburgh’s “multi-cultural soccer team,” adding that the term “united” means “centralized in one location.”
That central location appears to be The Park House on East Ohio Street: “Pittsburgh’s oldest and friendliest tavern.” The Park House, owned by Zamir Zahavi, has become one of Deutschtown United’s recent sponsors.
“I heard that they were looking for a sponsor and I was happy to oblige,” said Zahavi, who Myers describes as a “big soccer fan.”
Zahavi claims not to be the “world’s greatest soccer fan” but follows the Dutch football clubs and Dutch national teams.
“After all,” he said. “I am Dutch.”
Myers’ hopes for a multi-cultural team are apparently becoming realized, as Deutschtown United settles into the neighborhood.
“We’re very proud and happy to be becoming part of the Deutschtown community,” said Myers.
He explained that the team has plans to make John Merry Field in Brighton Heights their home for the outdoor season, and looks forward to having more Northside connections “in the future.”