Matt Nigro impressed at SoccerViza’s November combine in Danbury, Connecticut and as a result was invited to join Icelandic second division club Vestri on trial.
Matt was a standout performer at the first of SoccerViza’s winter transfer window combines, and received his invitation to join Vestri on trial shortly after.
“I was called the next day after I was there and invited to come to Croatia, and I couldn’t have been happier. It’s something I’d been working for, for a long time. It’s been my goal to get noticed, so I’ve just been keeping my head down and working and hoping to get spotted. I picked the right SoccerViza combine to go to, for sure.”
Matt played collegiate soccer at William Paterson University in New Jersey, and following his collegiate career bounced around to USL tryouts and combines, before eventually being spotted on Instagram by SoccerViza scouts, and invited to the November combine.
“I got into some USL combines, I went down to Wilmington and didn’t get a call back from them. Went to Harrisburg after that. I got a little more luck and was invited to pre-season, and was there a couple weeks before being released. It was all just a process to try to get noticed. This opportunity now is hard to describe. It’s everything I’ve worked for. The first couple sessions have gone well, and now it’s about being consistent and catching the eye of the coach and getting a contract.”
The prospect of a contract is an attractive one, and the team first mentality being built in the Vestri locker room is one that Matt seems to fit into well so far. While being signed would be a great personal achievement, that’s when the individualism stops and the team goals begin.
“I’ve never really been into personal goals. The team’s goals are always the bigger picture. Right now the team is going for promotion and that’s what I would be pouring myself into. Obviously the desire is to win the league outright, and I’m looking at the talent I’m playing with here this week and see that it’s possible.”
Matt comes from a philosophy of play that gels with Vestri’s own, which is possession oriented, with a flowing attack and high pressure defense. Technical ability is a necessity everywhere on the pitch, but especially the midfield where Nigro is fitting in alongside two Icelandic Youth National Team players, one whom is on loan from Europa League club Breidablik.
“I’ve been fortunate in my youth growing up with certain coaches that I’ve developed a mind for the game. It’s never been about the result, and always been about the development and being able to play out of problems. I was able to keep that continuity in my development through most of my youth career by being with coaches who emphasized possession and quick thinking, and placed less importance in physical build and speed. I think I fit in well to Europe from what I’ve seen so far. I’m not the quickest, I’m not the strongest, but I have a mind for the game and that’s valued over here.”
Matt played 70 minutes of Vestri’s 5-1 victory over Icelandic first division club Haukar on Monday, scoring the game’s opening goal and nearly providing two assists.