Aug. 25, 2009
Former Sacred Heart goalkeeper Matt Jones has recently signed to play professional soccer in Portugal with C.D. Santa Clara. Jones will play in the top system in Portugal competing in the Liga de Honra with one of the most successful teams in the league. Jones, a four year starter at Sacred Heart, compiled 320 saves and a 1.10 goals against average while earning 30 victories and notching 21 shutouts in his collegiate career.
Jones was twice named to the All-NEC First Team as the league’s top goal keeper in both 2007 and 2008. The Stoke-on-Trent, England native also earned second team All-NEC honors as a freshman in 2005. “In my career Matt Jones is the best player I have ever recruited”, said Pioneer head coach Joe Barroso. “His level of work ethic, professionalism, and leadership will be nearly impossible to replace.”
Jones won 20 games in a Pioneer uniform and twice led SHU to a berth into the Northeast Conference playoffs. Last season the Pioneer program picked up a milestone win defeating #18 Dartmouth in a 1-0 shutout. Barroso went on to say, “Sacred Heart men’s soccer is looked at differently because of Matt, he put the program on the map at the division I level”.
Jones will join a Santa Clara team that finished second in 2008-09 in the Liga de Honra regular season and is off to 1-0-1 start in 2009-10. Barroso expects great things from Jones, “He has the skill set to be a great professional player, he just needs an opportunity to play consistently. It is unheard of for a player to jump from a U.S. college program to the pros in Europe. I am thrilled we had him here for four years and I know he will excel as a professional.”