From Club release:
NASHVILLE (January 8, 2018) – Nashville Soccer Club has added depth at two key defensive positions as it signed defender Malcolm Stewart and keeper Danny Vitiello to the 2019 squad, pending league and federation approval.
While born in the United States, Stewart, 22, qualifies as a Jamaican international and was a member of Jamaica’s U-17 World Cup qualifying squad in 2013, U-20 squad in 2015 and U-23 squad in 2017. Stewart attended UNC Charlotte and was a pivotal part of the 49ers backline that recorded eight shutouts and allowed only 15 goals in 20 games en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015. Since college, Stewart has played for the Ocean City Nor’easters of USL League Two and last season trained with LA Galaxy II of the USL Championship.
“Malcom is a terrific prospect and has many qualities that are needed in the modern game,” said Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith. “He has tremendous pace, good physical stature and is hungry to achieve.”
Vitiello, 22, recently finished a standout career in net at the University of Albany, making 60 starts over his four-year career. He recorded 24 shutouts, including 10 in 15 starts as redshirt junior. That season, Vitiello led Albany to the NCAA Tournament and recorded a shutout victory over Maryland in the first round. In his collegiate career, Vitiello allowed just 1.02 goals per game and had a save percentage of .724. Vitiello started for USL League Two side Long Island Rough Riders in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as the team advanced to the second-round.
“Danny impressed whilst trialing during the summer and then reinforced his credentials in our invite only tryouts in December,” said Smith. “He fits the criteria for our club perfectly both physically & technically, whilst showing all the desire you would expect from a young player.”
These signings fit in line with my recent prediction that the majority of signings going forward prior to the 2019 season will be depth-type players, rather than established stars (with the opportunity for another star or two, particularly a midfielder, to end up with the team).
I’ll have more on both of these players in the coming days. See these and all other offseason moves on the Offseason Tracker.