Robbie Mertz looked around and asked the question: Now What?
Taken in the Fourth Round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, 76th overall, the All-American midfielder’s time in mile-high Denver was up, just a few weeks after it started. It’s a common crossroads for many college stars. It’s not always a smooth transition to the pro scene. It doesn’t always work out.
But Mertz, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, had a card to play. “The first call I made was to the Riverhounds,” he told ussoccer.com. “I needed a place to go and I was blessed that I could call on my hometown team for a chance.”
Long, Strong Ties to the Hounds
His first goal, on the road in a league game against Indy Eleven, was a perfect example of what Mertz does best. Striker Christian Volesky made a jinking run through the penalty area and rifled a challenging pass in the youngster’s general direction. Mertz, always thinking, controlled with a clever combination of thigh and abdomen and fired – all in one motion – with his left foot. It was a goal that required quickness of thought and feet both. It looked like a veteran’s goal.