"This incoming class has talent, great character, loyalty and selflessness - exactly what we wanted to target with this core group" said Donigan. "We again have pulled in a bunch of local, talented guys in an effort to keep some of the very best guys home in New Jersey and reached out to several top programs around the country to find the right compliment of players for the program. Our staff wanted to ensure that we did not just bring in talented athletes, but players that understand the importance of building the right culture in the locker room and around the training ground every day of the week, month and entire year."
"We believe that this group will come and fight, battle and work incredibly hard both in and out of season, as well as on and off the field, to reach our goals as a program. The staff is very confident that this class will lead and represent the program, university and athletic department into the future. We want our supporters, alumni and friends to be proud to watch them compete for years to come."
"Rutgers has always had a challenging conference schedule and never shys away from competing against the very best programs in the country every year. The preparation has already started and this incoming group is anxious to contribute right alongside the rest of the roster. We feel that there will be great competition in every position in the preseason and that will make for what we hope to be a successful campaign."
|Aaron Acloque - Forward - Ringoes, N.J./Immaculata/PDA
A current member of the PDA U17/18 team, Alcloque previously suited up for the NJSCA U17/18 and U15/16 teams and Jersey United from 2011-2014. He led the United in scoring for four-straight seasons and was invited to train with Swansea City Academy in England.
Donigan on Aaron Acloque:
"Aaron fits into the Big Ten Conference as he is a physical presence in the middle of the field where he can regain possession, break plays up and provide a physicality to the game. He is a guy who has tremendous work ethic and an honest effort will always be given by him to the team. Great character and honest work ethic is what we will see from him in training and games every time he steps onto the field."
|Vincent Borden - Defense - Ithaca, New York/NY Redbulls
A NY Redbulls product, Borden played with both the academy's U17/18 and U15/16 programs and was a member of U.S. Soccer's U15 and U14 National Team rosters. Borden also spent time with the Croatian Club, Dinamo Zagreb.
Donigan on Vince Borden:
"Vince comes to us from the NY RedBulls, another premiere US Soccer Academy Club in our backyard which produces great college and professional players year in and year out. Vince has good physical size and brings a high level of skill for a big guy. He has the ability to connect the pieces in the middle of the field and provides an aerial presence as well."
|Aedan Boriotti - Goalkeeper - Sea Girt, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy/Match Fit FC
A TeamSnap All-American Watch List member, Boriotti helped Christian Brothers Academy to a Non-Public A title, Shore Conference Tournament title and a No. 1 ranking in the state with a 24-1 mark. As a senior, Boriotti registered 14 shutouts, including the state final and totaled 65 saves. As a junior, he racked up 53 saves and 10 shutouts helping the Christian Brothers Academy to the Non-Public A final.
Donigan on Aedan Boriotti:
"Aedan will be coming into a very competitive environment with the other goalkeepers on our roster. We have created a very difficult, competitive environment with the goalkeeper position. Coach Stakiwicz is going to have a tough decision to make once they all get here and head into season next fall. Aedan brings a great attitude and work ethic that will make for great competition in goal next fall and for years to come."
|Tyejae Burchall - Midfield - Pembroke, Bermuda/South Kent School
A member of the Bermuda Football Association National Academy, Burchall helped the South Kent School to back-to-back Top Drawer Soccer National Championships and two consecutive New England Championship titles. Last season, Burchall helped the championship team to an 18-1 record aiding the Cardinals to register 12 shutouts and outscore opponents 88-11.
Donigan on Tyejae Burchall:
"Tyejae comes to us from South Kent School which is a perennial power in New England and the United States under the guidance of Owen Finberg who has done a fantastic job. Tyejae played numerous positions with South Kent and we see him doing the same for us for the next four years. He has great foot skills along with great pace and a great understanding of the game. He will provide us with the ability to play out of the back and make proper decisions in difficult spots coming out of the back. Tyejae's experience as a Bermudian international should help his transition to our level."
|Sean Dailey - Midfield - East Windsor, N.J./Peddie School/Match Fit FC
Dailey collected six goals and 21 assists during his career at the Peddie School. As a junior, he helped the Falcons secure its first Mid-Atlantic Prep title since 2008. Scoring two goals and registering eight assists, he helped Peddie go undefeated in MAPL play at 5-0, winning every game by a margin of at least two goals. As a captain his senior campaign, Dailey posted three goals and nine assists.
Donigan on Sean Dailey:
"Sean is an absolute engine in the midfield. He is a prototype defensive middy that will run all day and never die. He has the ability to dribble out of tough spots and provides a spark going forward out of his central midfield position. We expect Sean to fight and compete for time in the middle of the field from the get go and confident that he will push everyone of the field everyday in training. Sean brings that great work ethic that will make for a great environment at training."
|Kyle Galloway - Midfield - Manahawkin, N.J./Pennington School/Holmdel Stallions FC
A member of the two-time Times of Trenton Team of the Year, Galloway helped the Pennington School to a 16-0-3 record last season and a share of its second-straight Mercer County title. The Red Raiders finished at No. 4 nationally in the final Top Drawer Soccer Fall Fab 10 rankings. An all-area selection, Galloway concluded his senior year with five goals and seven assists.
Donigan on Kyle Galloway: "Kyle is coming out of The Pennington School which won the private school NJ State Championship where he was a captain and pivotal player for them. Kyle has tremendous skills and has great instincts for the game. We anticipate Kyle playing out of a wide back or midfield position with the ability to play both sides of the ball. We like to play a possession style of soccer and Kyle will allow for us to knock the ball around and be patient with our attack."
|Federico Gutierrez - Defense - Montevideo, Uruguay/Instituto Juan XXIII
A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, Guiterrez helped his to teams to the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) Apertura Championship in 2016, AUF Clasura Championship in 2013 and AUF U14 National Championship in 2012. His AUF U19 championship squad captured a 22-4-4 overall mark last season. Gutierrez's father, Alvaro, was a former Uruguayan national team midfielder from 1991-1997 and was part of the Uruguay team that won the Copa America in 1995.
Donigan on Federico Gutierrez:
"Federico has good size and tremendous skills on the ball. He has a very aggressive style of defending and we expect that he will have an immediate impact on our backline.Federico has an obvious aerial ability due to his size and can make runs out of the back and be a threat on restart situations.He has great potential as a player and leader on the field."
|Chris Hawkins - Midfield - Chesterfield, N.J./Notre Dame
Joining older brother and Big Ten All-Freshman Team member, Brian, Hawkins collected 40 goals and 13 assists during her career at Notre Dame High School. As a senior, Hawkins recorded 17 goals and five assists.
Donigan on Chris Hawkins:
"Chris has very strong athleticism and can play a number of positions in the midfield or up top as a front runner. Chris has a tireless work ethic and should provide us a spark in a number of roles. We feel Chris will be a very versatile player that will add depth to our attack and defensive positions."
|Niko Lovoulos - Defense - 6-0 - Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel/NJCSA
Lovoulos helped to manage the backline with NJSCA. He was named to the U.S. Soccer Development Acadey Atlantic Division Best XI by SoccerWire.com and Top Drawer Soccer Atlanta Combine Boys Best XI.
Donigan on Niko Lovoulos:
"Niko has a great foundation of skills for the college game. He has a very good understanding of the game, possesses solid foot skills and has the ability to play numerous positions. His versatility should give him a chance to play right away as an outside back, midfielder or underlying defensive middy. Niko has a high soccer IQ which will provide us with another player that can play the style of soccer we want to play."
|Malik Mathes - Defense - East Orange, N.J./East Orange
Mathes comes to Rutgers after playing scholastically with East Orange and St. Benedict's High Schools. As a senior in 2016, he was First Team All-Super Essex Conference and All-Colonial Division honoree helping the Jaguars to a 12-2-1 record.
Donigan on Malik Mathes:
"Malik has been really developing over the past few years as we have followed him. He has good size, speed, and solid foundation to transition into college soccer from a very competitive club scene. Malik has a great attitude and will to compete and get better everyday. We anticipate that Malik will provide depth to our backline and midfield line."
|Zeno Mazzucato - Defense - Princeton, N.J./Princeton/PDA
Member of the PDU U17/18 team since 2015, Mazzucato is serving as the squad's captain. Last season, he was a member of the backline that helped the team advance to the Development Final Four.
Donigan on Zeno Mazzucato:
"Zeno should figure into the backline or defensive midfield spots. He is a tough, hard nosed tackler of the ball and can help us play out of the back and connect our lines in possession. We are excited about the potential of Zeno coming in and having an immediate impact. Coming out of PDA, Zeno brings a wealth of experience in a great environment in which PDA provides every day in training and matches."
|Rafael Pereira - Goalkeeper - Lisbon, Portugal/Escola Secundaria Vergilio Ferreira/Marshalltown CC
A two-time NJCAA All-American at Marshalltown Community College, Pereira owned a 33-5-3 career record, including 20 shutouts and a 0.56 career goals against average. His goals against average ranks him third all-time at MCC. Pereira guided the Tigers to back-to-back appearances in the Region XI Tournament and 22 consecutive appearances in the NJCAA rankings. MCC ranked as high as at No. 3 in the rankings in 2016, a program-best. A two-time First Team All-Region XI, seven-time ICCAC Player of the Week, Pereira was also a standout in the classroom earning ICCAC Academic All-Region First Team honors and the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievent award.
Donigan on Rafael Pereira:
"Rafael brings a maturity and experience into our goalkeeping position. We expect him to compete for the starting spot immediately. Rafael has great feet, great agility and exudes tremendous confidence in the players that are on the field in front of him. He has had great success at Marshalltown Community Junior College and this will help him transition into our conference as he has confidence in himself and this is very important trait for a goalkeeper with a young backline."
|Bryce Washington - Defense - Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta/Atlanta United
A member of the backfield for the Concorde Fire and a part of the Atlanta United's first U18 roster, Washington anchored the United to one of the best defenses in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Donigan on Bryce Washington:
"Bryce has tremendous physical abilities and amazing athleticism with solid foot skills. He primarily is a center back, but has the ability to play central or out wide. We see Bryce having an immediate impact on our backline and growing into a leadership role for our program and solidifying our defensive side of the ball during his years here at Rutgers. Bryce has an unbelievable upside to his game and his future has no ceiling."
"We have a high number of guys that sat out last season due to injury and are pretty experienced in the front half of the field," said Donigan. "With the return of Erik Sa, Brian Hawkins, Miles Hackett, Jack Young, Kyle Goodwin and the addition of Ethan Vanacore-Decker, who sat out last year serving his year in residence, we are excited for the fall season to begin. Every season poses different challenges and each season can be significantly different than the last and we expect this coming season to be much different than last season, but we must put in the work."
"Our staff has worked very hard to put this class together and I want to thank them for their effort," added Donigan. "We also want to certainly recognize the assistance from our support staff in the recruiting process and acknowledge them for their constant help and support to our program."
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersMensSoccer) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/RUMensSoccer) for all of the latest news and updates. Fans also receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on both social media outlets along withwww.ScarletKnights.com.