While fans look forward to the fall season and are hopeful for the return of sports, Rutgers continues its school-wide commitment to building a brighter future for athletics. On April 8, it was announced that the men's soccer team had signed five recruits during the early signing period for 2020.
These players look to join head coach Jim McElderry in improving on a season where the Scarlet Knights went undefeated in their first eight games and obtained a national ranking for the first time since 2016.
Ritchie Barry, a 6-foot-1-inch forward from Cardiff, Wales, looks to add firepower to the offense as he transfers from St. Joseph's to spend his senior year on the Banks. Barry played one year of high school at Sparta, dominating his competition by scoring 27 goals and adding to that with six assists, resulting in him being named the New Jersey Herald's Player of the Year. At St. Joseph's, Barry was voted to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team and followed that season by having the 10th most points in school history his sophomore year.
McElderry added to Rutgers' attack by signing another forward in Colin Beasley. Beasley, who stands at 6-foot-2-inches, is known for being a threat in the box and in the air. In high school, Beasley played for the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT), where he was a Third Team All-State player his junior year after scoring 18 goals and tallying 16 assists.
Beasley is the first soccer player in ACIT history to commit to a Division I school and only the second athlete in school history to commit to play at that level. Beasley's head coach James Taylor described the striker as "the best player I'd ever coached in 40 seasons," according to The Press of Atlantic City. Beasley looks to bring that high level of play for the next four years.
Darin Henry looks to contribute to the Knights' back line as he can play both in the midfield and the defense. Henry has played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy as a member of Inter Miami CF. In his latest season, Henry played 11 games for Inter Miami, starting four of those games and scoring 2 goals.
Henry, a 5-foot-10-inch native of Weston, Florida, attended high school at Archbishop McCarthy while also playing for his hometown team, Weston FC. McElderry shared his thoughts about Henry.
"Darin is a very good athlete who can play a few positions equally well," McElderry said. "He loves to play and is willing to do whatever is needed to help his team win."
Joining Henry in defense is Fredrik Holmé, a 6-foot-2-inch center back from Oslo, Norway. Holmé is known for his towering frame and tough play and played his entire club career in Norway, where he was recently promoted to Vålerenga's recruit team in the third tier of Norwegian soccer.
"I chose Rutgers because I believe the coaches have a good plan for the future, and the school's good reputation for their academics," he said.
He hopes to bring the impact he made in Norway to the Big Ten and to the Banks.
Rounding out the class is Cole Sotack, a 6-foot defender from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Sotack has played at the highest level that a high school player can perform at, starting in 56 games for the Philadelphia Union Academy team. He plays with others hopeful about playing in Major League Soccer and helped the team qualify for the DA Cup Knockout Round.
Sotack looks to impress at Rutgers and bring his high level of play to Piscataway.
"We will add to this group in the coming months, but could not be more happy about these five young men," McElderry said when announcing the signings. "We are confident this group addresses some needs on our team both in terms of position and experience."
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