With pen set to paper earlier today, Italian striker James Pucci became the first SoccerViza player in this winter transfer window to sign a professional contract.
For the 24-year old striker, it’s been a long time coming, having been through the combine game from the MLS level all the way down to individual teams, before making his way to SoccerViza this past November.
“I’ve been to a lot of combines, but SoccerViza was very different,” Pucci said after signing.
“The feedback, knowing that coaches were watching you and giving you ideas, it made everything different. Just knowing that people cared and wanted you to do well meant a lot. I want to thank SoccerViza for that opportunity. They watched me for two years before I was able to get to a combine, and it paid off right away for me.”
Coming out of college at Davis and Elkins in West Virginia, Pucci was a highly touted pro prospect, with some MLS draft analysts pegging him as a top 5 pick after his record breaking collegiate career. A sprained MCL on the final day of the MLS combine in 2015 saw his stock plummet though, as Pucci went from the potential answer for Real Salt Lake’s offensive needs, to being unwanted.
“My senior year wasn’t my best, and that didn’t help. In my junior year I scored 27 goals, but in my senior year only 11, so I was sliding a little bit from that. But I was still in talks with Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake, and it was looking good. But on the last day of the combine, I sprained my MCL, and Salt Lake called me later that night to see how I was. I told them the truth, I was going to need a month o