Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs’s phone must be ringing off the hook, because he’s been active in the trade market on MLS SuperDraft day. UNC Charlotte goalkeeper Elliot Panicco was taken No. 13 after Jacobs acquired that pick from the New England Revolution.
Panicco, a native of Greensboro, N.C., started every game of his Charlotte career. He finished with a .794 save percentage, though aside from a blip as a sophomore, his save percentage was above .800 each year. As a senior, he made 59 saves and allowed just 14 goals in 20 appearances. Despite playing in a lesser-known conference, Charlotte was a nationally-elite program, finishing No. 19 in the RPI. The 49ers beat Mercer before falling to Clemson after extra time in the NCAA Tournament’s second round.
He was listed as the top goalkeeping prospect in the SuperDraft by SBI Soccer.
The 6-5, 205-pound Panicco is a redshirt senior – and a player who will turn 24 in November, so he’s only eligible for the Reserve Roster (under the current MLS rules, which are subject to change after negotiations with the Players’ Association) for one season. That likely gives this season a trial feel, wherein he either proves he’s capable of being a Nashville starter or No. 2 keeper, or moves along after one season.
Much more to come on Pannico.
Elliot Panicco photo courtesy Charlotte Athletics.