Matt Jones: From Sacred Heart to Portugal

Jan. 27, 2010

Former Sacred Heart men's soccer goaltender Matt Jones has continued his playing career in Portugal, suiting up for Santa Clara of the Liga de Honra.  During his four years as a Pioneer Jones compiled 320 saves, a 1.10 goals against average, and 30 victories, including 21 shutouts.  He was twice named to the All-NEC First Team as the league’s top goalkeeper in both 2007 and 2008.  Jones was recently featured in MaisFutebol Newpaper in Portugal.

The following is the article published in MaisFutebol Newspaper:

INTRODUCING Matt Jones

Santa Clara found their goalkeeper at Sacred Heart University, one of the finest Universities in CT, USA.

In 2005 the young British Matthew Jones packed everything, took the plane and went to the USA. He registered at Sacred Heart University in Ct with two goals in mind - to play soccer and to get a degree.

“When I decided to go to the US to Sacred Heart University, in CT my parents fully supported me. At Sacred Heart we were constantly motivated to play sports but never to neglect the studies. This was by far one of the best decisions I’ve made” said the goalkeeper to the Portuguese newspaper MaisFutebol .

Matt Jones became a player in the soccer team The Pioneers while studying at the University. “It was not only the best decision I have made but also a great experience. At Sacred Heart I had the opportunity to play soccer and at the same time to ensure my education. They gave me the best foundation in both areas” says Matt Jones.

IN PORTUGAL BY THE HAND OF Joe Barroso

Hoping to pursue a career in Europe, when he finished his degree, Matt Jones asked his coach, the Portuguese Joe Barroso to help him out. “I believed that Portugal would be a good fit for my future ambitions. Coach Barroso is Portuguese and the connections that he has in Portugal among the soccer players and coaches helped me to fulfill my dreams. He got me to the try outs and I made it!”

At The Pioneers, Matt Jones met the midfielder Sérgio Freitas, a very good Portuguese-American soccer player.

When asked about how he is doing at Santa Clara, Matt promptly says “Couldn’t be better. This first season was decisive. I am a starter already and I’ve helped the team to gain prominence in the Cup Of Portugal, a very competitive cup in Europe. We have shown to two great teams that we are prepared to win.”

In a country like the United States which strongly believes and invests in academic sports, Matt graduated from Sacred Heart University in Business and Marketing one area of studies that he was always interested in. “This was an experience that allowed me to mature as a player and as a person while I studied and prepared my future in the business world. My coach was a key piece in my career. He taught me, prepared me as a soccer player and introduced me to Portugal”

Translated by Elsa Gaspar Cardoso