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Remaining Ranked: Pitt men’s soccer land 7th in preseason United Soccer Coaches poll

Pitt men’s soccer team earned a ranking of No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, as announced by the organization Tuesday.

The ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Poll is the 33rd straight for the program. Pitt has been ranked in the top-10 in 28 of those weeks with eight total weeks at the No. 1 spot.

Pitt opens the 2022 season with three top-15 opponents, including back-to-back top-10 teams in No. 2 Georgetown in the season opener Aug. 25 and No. 6 West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl in Pittsburgh Aug. 29. The Panthers’ first road test is at 2020 National Champion and No. 14 Marshall Sept. 2.

Pitt finished the 2021 season with an overall record of 13-5-2 and an ACC mark of 5-2-1. Pitt’s home record was one of the best in the country, going 11-1 at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The Panthers play 10 regular season homes games in 2022.

Returning to the squad for a fifth and final year are All-ACC Second Team recipients Jackson Walti and Rodrigo Almeida. Walti has been a catalyst at the center midfield position and tallied a goal, two assists and 15 shots in a team-best 1,862 minutes played a year ago. Almeida had a career year in 2021 with seven goals, six assists and 32 shots.

Also returning are All-ACC honorees Valentin NoelBertin Jacquesson and Guilherme Feitosa. Noel, a 2020 All-American and MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, scored seven goals with five assists and 44 shots last season. Jacquesson showcased his shot and his passing abilities with seven goals, 11 assists and 43 shots, while Feitosa tallied five goals, six assists and 16 shots as a freshman.

For the full United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, click here.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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