Former Davidson standout Matt Pacifici is set to begin his Major League Soccer (MLS) career with the Columbus Crew SC. Pacifici, who participated in the duration of preseason training camp, held Real Salt Lake scoreless over 28 minutes on Feb. 24 during the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz. In addition, the Charlotte native had a clean sheet over 45 minutes in a Feb. 27 exhibition win over the Colorado Rapids.
“To land on a team that is poised for another deep playoff run is very rare for a young player, so I couldn’t be happier to call Columbus home,” Pacifici said. “Being able to play with big name players like Kei Kamara and Federico Higuian has been unbelievable, and it’s amazing how being in this environment can elevate your level of play in just a few weeks.”
Pacifici played 70 games over his college career with Davidson, including 11 clean sheets. During his junior season in 2014, he notched a career- and school-best 0.65 goals-against average with seven shutouts en route to being named Second Team All-Conference. In addition, he led the Wildcats to wins over Duke and eventual NCAA Champion Virginia. A two-year captain, he earned Davidson’s Charlie Slagle Coach’s Award in 2015 as well as Atlantic 10 All-Academic and Senior CLASS Award First Team honors.
“I am thrilled to be another Davidson athlete in the pros and beyond thankful for what Davidson has allowed me to do. The coaching staff has been a tremendous help in my development as both a player and a person,” Pacifici noted. “My teammates have driven me to become the best player possible every day and I’m extremely grateful for that.”
Pacifici finished his course work in December in economics and Hispanic studies. He is the third Wildcat to play in the MLS, along with Rob Ukrop ’93 (New England Revolution) and Alex Caskey ’11 (Seattle Sounders and DC United).
“The Crew is a great organization and I believe we share a lot in terms of culture,” said Davidson men’s soccer head coach Matt Spear. “Matt has arrived, and now he’s determined to make the most it.”