Swanson, Hollingsworth see both sides of Crew SC & Riverhounds affiliation

Marshall Hollingsworth

Columbus Crew SC has two players featuring as game-by-game loans to USL affiliate, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, that appeared in a closed-to-the-public scrimmage against Crew SC on Tuesday. Midfielders Marshall Hollingsworth and Ben Swanson are available to be used by Pittsburgh this season, with the Riverhounds' regular season set to kick off on Saturday.

For the trio, gaining experience and staying fit through the Riverhounds is key.

“Game reps are probably the most important thing, right now," Swanson, a Crew SC Homegrown Player, said following a scrimmage between the Riverhounds and Crew SC on Tuesday at the EAS Training Center at Obetz. "It's just the consistency of playing.”            

Swanson and Hollingsworth have split playing and training time with both Columbus and Pittsburgh. Although it may seem like it would be odd to play against their club (Crew SC), Hollingsworth said the experience as opposition was unique.

“It’s awesome," Hollingsworth said after the scrimmage. "There’s just an intensity to it. It's just something I kind of want to prove, that I’m still working and still getting better. It's a blast to see things from the other side.”

Playing for a different team and learning from a different coach gives these players the opportunity to learn more — but from a different perspective. Hollingsworth is grateful for this experience to learn and grow as a player.

“I think gaining experience with both teams is really good for me," Hollingsworth said. "I get decent playing time with Pittsburgh and get to learn a broader range of soccer IQs from two great coaches. I get to see the different levels of soccer talent and abilities and competition while training with two different types of teams. It's a cool experience and a good situation for all of us.”

The Black & Gold return home Saturday, March 25, to host the Portland Timbers for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at MAPFRE Stadium.

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