New Jersey youth standouts highlight Rutgers men’s soccer recruiting class
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers men’s soccer head coach Jim McElderry announced the signing of seven Scarlet Knights to the 2021 recruiting class, including five from the Garden State.
Matthew Acosta (Annandale, N.J./NY Red Bulls), Aurie Briscoe (Englewood, N.J./PDA/Combine Academy), Adam Davies (Cranberry Township, Pa./Pittsburgh Hotspurs), Aidan Flynn (Seattle, Wash./Portland Timbers Academy), Bryan Keating (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Cedar Stars Academy), Nico Rosamilia (Roseland, N.J./NY Red Bulls) and Joey Zalinsky (Brick, N.J./NY Redbulls) are set to join Rutgers as freshmen over the Summer.
“The moment we arrived here, we knew we wanted to recruit the best players in the state of New Jersey,” said head coach Jim McElderry. “We know these players inside and out, and we’re really impressed with this group coming in. The major theme this year was to bring in players that have a high level of talent that can help us win immediately, while also having a high ceiling to help us improve down the line.”
Club: New York Red Bulls
Hometown: Annandale, New Jersey
Matthew Acosta is a central midfielder out of the Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls Academy, and a Rutgers legacy with his parents, Ed and Evelyn, graduating from the State University of New Jersey.
Acosta has been with the Red Bulls development squad since the U13-14 level, accumulating 88 appearances for the club since 2015. He plans on studying business at Rutgers.
Club: PDA/Combine Academy
Hometown: Englewood, N.J.
Aurie Briscoe is a goalkeeping prospect out of the Player Development Academy and Combine Academy.
Briscoe led his squad to consecutive USSDA Atlantic Conference championships in 2019 and 2020, and previously helped his team earn Fall FAB 50 No. 1 rankings in 2018 and 2019. He was selected as a Boys DA Winter Showcase U18/19 Best XI in 2018. His performance also earned a tryout with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
He has also achieved in the classroom, where he earned honor roll in every semester and won the Abbot Martin J. Burne Memorial Award for achievement in religious studies. Briscoe with study political science at Rutgers.
Club: Pittsburgh Hotspurs
Hometown: Cranberry Township, Pa.
Adam Davies is a decorated goalkeeping student-athlete out of Seneca Valley High School and the Pittsburgh Hotspurs club.
Davies won three consecutive sectional championships before leading his team to the 2020 Pennsylvania state title behind 10 shutouts and just 11 goals allowed in 21 matches.
He was named 2020 All-Section First Team, while also maintaining honor roll status in the classroom with a Highest Honor Roll mention in 2020 as a senior.
Club: Portland Timbers Academy
Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
Aidan Flynn comes to Rutgers from across the country in Seattle and Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers Academy.
Flynn also has high-level experience with Barcelona Academy, a feeder system based in Arizona. Between stints of playing on shutdown defenses on high-caliber soccer clubs, Flynn volunteers as a tutor and works as a physical therapy intern. He also coaches youth teams in Seattle.
Flynn will study political science at Rutgers and plans a career in professional soccer and as a non-profit attorney.
Club: Cedar Stars Bergen
Hometown: Pompton Lakes, N.J.
Bryan Keating is a defender homegrown in New Jersey and playing club soccer with Cedar Stars Bergen. He is also a Rutgers Athletics legacy, with his mom, Anne, competing in the heptathlon, and his dad, Stephen, pole-vaulting on the Rutgers track and field team.
Alongside his soccer resume, Keating followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Sectional champion in the pole vault in 2020 for Pompton Lakes.
Keating is a member of the National Honors Society and plans to major in biomedical engineering at Rutgers.
Club: New York Red Bulls
Hometown: Roseland, N.J.
Nico Rosamilia is a New Jersey native and a goal-scoring product of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls development academy.
Rosamilia was a two-time All-State performer, leading his high school team in goals and assists for two seasons before joining Red Bulls. With the MLS development club, he scored 12 goals in 2020 and won “Man of the Match” honors in consecutive weeks against the Montreal Impact and DC United.
He has elite soccer in his blood. His father, Sal, was an All-American goalkeeper at Columbia University. Nico will study sports management at Rutgers.
Club: New York Red Bulls
Hometown: Brick, N.J.
Joey Zalinsky is a New Jersey native and product of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls development academy.
Zalinsky stars out of the back for New York Red Bulls II in the USL Championship. A member of the MLS development club since 2016, he made his debut for the Red Bulls II squad in September of 2020, contributing to a 6-0 shutout win over Philadelphia Union II.
He has also consistently trained with the NY Red Bulls First Team.