Jay Vidovich and and his staff led Pitt to its best season in the 67-year history of the men’s soccer program in 2020-21, earning countless awards and setting a new standard of high level achievement in the city of Pittsburgh.
The Panthers finished the year 16-4 overall and 9-1 in ACC play, were named No. 1 in the nation by United Soccer Coaches on two separate occasions, won the ACC Coastal Division Championship and stamped its name in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 overall seed, eventually making it to the College Cup – men’s soccer’s Final Four.
In a sign that further stregthens Pitt men’s soccer’s program continuity and stability, Vidovich recently signed a contract extension with the University.
Now, Vidovich and his team are back, entering the preseason as the prohitive favorites of the ACC Conference and ranked third in the United Soccer Coaches poll as they’re ready for a quick turnaround from a deep run to the College Cup in May, with 10 of 11 returning starters and another ambitions schedule on tap. The Panthers will open the season this Thursday against crosstown foes, Duquesne in the City Game at Ambrose Urbanic Field (8 p.m. kickoff).
In an exclusive one-on-one interview with coach Vidovich, here are some topics we tackled after Tuesday’s training season.
- The importance of improvement and getting better
- New recruiting class and how they’re going to fit in to an already experienced and deep squad
- What’s the preseason training and preparation routine like for Pitt’s players and coaches
- Thoughts on the first two preseason matches and team’s performance thus far
- Playing before fans in the first preseason match
- Program being honored at Riverhounds SC match on Sunday and having former Pitt players Shane Wiedt and Bryce Washington playing in the game
- Playing a tough out-of-conference schedule
- Adjusting back to a Fall-only season and the merits of permanently switching college soccer to Fall-Spring season format
- Having some seniors back for another season, in light of added eligiblity due to COVID-19
Look for more coverage including a season preview and interview with senior forward/winger Alexander Dexter coming Wednesday and our full coverage team at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Thursday for the City Game.