Craig Nitti

54
Defender
  •  01.19.1992
  • Calabasas, California
  •  Loyola Marymount University
 
PROFILE
A strong defender, Nitti, was drafted by Whitecaps FC in the fourth round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and joined Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) on March 17, 2015 for their inaugural season in the USL.
 
UNIVERSITY
2014: In his senior season at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) scored five goals adding one assist in 17 games. With Nitti as co-captain, LMU posted nine clean sheets and a 0.68 goals against average on the season, conceding just four goals in conference play. For his efforts, the California native received All-West Coast Conference first-team and All-Far West Region second team honours. The defender was also named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy watch list at the start of the 2014 season. 2013: The 6-5, 220-lb defender from Calabasas, California, had standout junior campaign for a LMU team that clinched it’s first-ever outright West Coast Conference (WCC) title second title overall, and the team qualified for a NCAA Tournament berth. Nitti anchored the back line that posted seven shutouts and a 0.85 GAA while going 13W-4L-3D overall. He scored twice in 16 started matches adding one assist. Nitti’s season culminated by being named to the All-WCC first team, as well as, the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I All-Far West Region second team. 2012: Nitti was named an All-WCC Honorable Mention along with WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention. The defender was a key member of the LMU back line, Nitti earned 17 starts and appeared in 18 total matches, logging 1,593 minutes, which was second most on the team. Taking 16 shots, Nitti tallied three goals and two assists, goals included; a set piece in the season opener versus No. 4 UC Santa Barbara August 26, a headed game-winner in a 2-1 victory at Stanford September 21 and, a third goal was a from the spot in the season finale versus Saint Mary's November 11. 2011: Playing in his first season with LMU, Nitti appeared in 19 matches, earning nine starts. The defenders first collegiate goal doubled as a game-winner as his header 36 seconds into overtime at San Francisco broke a scoreless tie and gave LMU the 1-0 victory on October 30. Nitti was a named a National Scholar-Athlete. 2010: Joining LMU as freshman Nitti Redshirt his first season and was named a National Scholar-Athlete.
 
USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
2013: In his only USL PDL season, Nitti started nine of 10 games he played in for Portland Timbers, helping the team reach the Western Conference finals.
 
UNITED STATES SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY
2009-10: Playing for Real SoCal of the USSDA, Nitti started eight of 16 games he appeared in helping the team to a third place finish at the 2010 National Championships.
 
YOUTH/AMATUER 
Three-year letter winner at Crespi Carmelite High School (CCHS) in Encino, Caliornia, Nitti was named a NSCAA/adidas High School Boys All-Region VIII, first team All-CIF, first team All-San Fernando Valley and first team All-Mission League as a senior in 2009. The defender led CCHS to back-to-back CIF playoff appearances. The California native was named a Mission League Defensive Player of the Year and, was voted team MVP and Most Valuable Defensive Player.
 
PERSONAL
Craig Alexander Nitti was born on January 19, 1992 in Van Nuys, California, his parents are father, Gary, who ran cross country and track at UCLA, his mother, Wendi, was a graduate of Cal State Northridge who swam in the 1976 Olympic Trials as a member of the Santa Barbara Swim Club. Nitti is the middle of three sons with older brother Christopher and younger brother Connor.
 
INTERESTING FACTS
Nitti has played against fellow Whitecaps FC 2 teammate Brett Levis during the 2013 USL PDL season, the two players met during the regular and again in the playoffs. The defender has also previously played against two Whitecaps FC goalies, playing against Spencer Richey twice, first in the USSDA and again in the USL PDL, as well as playing once against Marco Carducci in the USL PDL.