The Pittsburgh Riverhounds signed former Pitt men’s soccer midfielder Jackson Walti to a one-year deal on Friday, bringing the player back to a place where fans know him best.
Walti played in all 101 games in his five year career at Pitt, starting 98 of them and 95 consecutively since 2018.
He helped propel the Panthers to their first ever ACC Tournament win in 2018, first ever NCAA Tournament win in 2019 and then three consecutive Elite Eight appearances with two College Cups in his final three seasons. He also made the All-ACC Second Team for three consecutive seasons from 2020-22.
Walti served as the captain for almost all of those games and played as a defensive midfielder. This meant that he manned the midfield, provided help to the back line and also made sure to move the ball up the pitch to his attacking teammates.
He will join former Pitt teammate and current Riverhounds forward Edward Kizza, who played together in college for two seasons in 2018 and 2019.
He holds the record for most appearances, starts and minutes played in program history and Pitt fans will now have the chance to watch him play professionally at Highmark Stadium down at Station Square.
Austin FC selected Walti in the Second Round of the 2023 MLS Superdraft. He began his season there with Austin FC II, the reserve side in MLS Next Pro, before Austin loaned him to Colorado Rapids II. Walti finished with 20 appearances, nine starts, and one assist in 2023.
“Jackson works, wins the ball and makes good decisions on the ball — all good attributes for a defensive midfielder that we pursued a year ago,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said in a statement. “His consistency and leadership with Pitt is exactly what we want to bring in to our team.”
The Riverhounds also signed midfielder Bradley Sample on a one-year deal, making it two midfielders they signed on Friday.
Sample played for Louisville for the past five seasons, 2019-23. Like Walti, he played almost every game, missing just one, and started 85 of 90 matches with 7,736 minutes played. He finished his college career ranking second in matches and third in minutes played in program history.
He also played as a holding/defensive midfielder like Walti, scoring four goals and seven assists with the Cardinals.
“Bradley was really solid at our combine in December and had a great career at Louisville,” Lilley said in a statement. “He is a versatile midfielder with a good engine and technical qualities that fit well with our current group.”
The current roster is at 19 players right now and the Riverhounds begin preseason training on next Monday, Jan. 29 at AHN Montour Sports Complex.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2024 Roster
Pierre Cayet (New Addition) (New England Revolution II/MLS Next Pro)
Sean Suber (New Addition) (Huntsville City FC/MLS Next Pro)
Jake Lent-Koop (New Addition) (Messiah/Division III)
Jackson Walti (New Addition) (Austin FC II/Colorado Rapids II/MLS Next Pro)
Bradley Sample (New Addition) (Louisville/Division I)
Babacar Diene (New Addition) (Rider/Division I)
Eric Dick (New Addition) (Minnesota United/MLS)
Jacob Randolph (New Addition) (UNCW/Division I)