WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, New Jersey - Former Marist men’s soccer midfielder Matty Berman will play for a new National Premier Soccer League franchise, New Jersey Copa Football Club, for the 2016 season. Berman was the club’s first signee in April when the academy expanded into the professional ranks.
Berman joined the Copa FC academy as a freshman in high school and played with the club team for four years while also competing for Seton Hall Prep. He won a State Cup in New Jersey and played in international tournaments such as the Dallas and Disney Cups all with Copa and graduated as the all-time assists leader at Seton Hall Prep. He spent his first collegiate season at Rutgers before transferring to Marist prior to the 2012 season. In three seasons as a Red Fox Berman started 51 games, had eight assists and was a two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic Team honoree.
During the offseasons of his collegiate career Berman was able to maintain his strong ties with Copa, training with the team and competing as a member of the inaugural U20 and U23 clubs under Head Coach Roberto Aguas. Aguas rose through the ranks with Berman and is the president and founder of Copa’s new NPSL franchise that will begin play this season.
“I definitely saw Copa getting to the NPSL level eventually,” Berman said. “I’m just thankful that I got to see Copa grow as I was playing and that the timing worked out the way it did.”
Upon graduating with a degree in communications from Marist in 2015, Berman coached the U13 Girls team for Copa FC in the fall before officially signing with the NPSL organization.
The NPSL was founded in 2003 and encompasses teams from 29 states. New Jersey Copa FC will compete in the Keystone Conference with six other clubs in the league’s northeast region. Copa’s inaugural roster features 18 recent college graduates and five other players who have competed at the professional level.
The 2016 NPSL regular season begins May 7 when Copa battles Greater Binghamton FC Thunder in its first ever NPSL contest. Berman will play at midfield for Copa from May to July with the possibility of postseason competition in August as well as a bid to the U.S. Open Cup in September. Clubs qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup have a chance to play alongside Major League Soccer franchises in September.