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Former Pitt standouts Valentin Noel and Jackson Walti sign with Austin FC II

Austin FC II announced today the team signed former Pitt midfielders Valentin Noel. and Jackson Walti to the team’s MLS NEXT Pro roster. Each player joins ATXFC II on a one-year guaranteed deal with options for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Austin FC selected all three (3) players in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft: Noel in the first round with the 20th overall pick, Walti in the second round with the 56th overall pick, and Mazzaferro in the third round with the 72ndoverall pick.

“Val, Jackson, and Sal are all players who enjoyed tremendous success at the collegiate level,” said Austin FC Interim Sporting Director Sean Rubio. “They’ve had the opportunity to gain valuable experience training with the first team this preseason, and we’re excited to have them continue to develop and improve with Austin FC II.”

Noel played four (4) seasons of collegiate soccer at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned All-ACC First Team honors as a sophomore and as a senior, and All-ACC Second Team honors as a junior. He was named 2020 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and a 2020-2021 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist. The native of Niort, France recorded 11 goals and three (3) assists during his senior season with the Panthers in 2022. Over the course of his collegiate career, Noel played 77 matches, scoring 35 goals and tallying 13 assists. Prior to playing for Pittsburgh, Noel played in the academy system of Chamois Niortais FC for 10 years.

A teammate of Noel’s at Pittsburgh, Walti was voted to the All-ACC Second Team in 2020, 2021, and 2022. He started 22 matches for the Panthers, leading the team alongside Noel to an appearance in the national semifinals at the 2022 NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup. Walti played 9,069 minutes in 101 matches (98 starts) throughout his collegiate career. Born in St. Augustine, Florida, Walti spent much of his childhood in Switzerland.

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).

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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