PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers men’s soccer head coach Dan Donigan has announced the addition of two transfers to the Scarlet Knight roster in goalkeeper Kevin Silva, who has appeared with both the U.S. U-19 and U-17 Men’s National Teams, and midfielder Vincenzo Pugliese, West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School’s all-time leading scorer.
“It’s great to have these two young, talented guys come back close to home to join our program mid-year,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “It gives them a bit of a transition period to adjust to the current players and our core of returning players. Our staff liked both these guys coming out of high school and club ball and it’s nice to be able bring them back home. Our team is very much looking forward to the off-season and getting back to work as quickly as we can to prepare for next season.”
Silva, a native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, arrives “On The Banks” after playing the last two seasons with the UCLA totaling a 1.66 goals against average and .709 save percentage with 122 saves and seven shutouts. As a freshman, he ranked 12th in the NCAA and topped the Pac-12 in saves averaging 5.00 per game. Prior to joining the Bruin roster, Silva was a two-time All-American and ranked as the best goalkeeper in the country and No. 13 overall in the IMG 150 by Top Drawer Soccer and No. 6 in College Soccer News’ Top 150. A consistent starter for the U.S. U-19 and U-17 Men’s National Teams, he was called up twice for the U-19 squad for the 2016 Copa de Atlantico and 2016 Under-20 Men's COTIF Tournament. With the U-17 team, Silva earned the Golden Glove award as the 2013 Nike International Friendlies’ top goalkeeper, registered four shutouts in 2014 and was on the roster for the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup.
Donigan on Silva: “Certainly Kevin’s experience and maturity as a player speaks volumes for itself. We already have legitimate goalkeepers on our roster, but this makes the competition and battle for that starting position that much more difficult for all the goalkeepers on our roster.”
Pugliese, who hails from West Windsor, New Jersey, returns to his home state after spending his freshman season at St. John’s. He graduated as West Windsor-Plainsboro North’s all-time leading scorer and was named the Colonial Valley Conference Midfielder of the Year in 2016. As a senior, Pugliese led the Knights to the Colonial Valley Conference Division title behind 21 goals and four assists and was named a TeamSnap Fall State Star by Top Drawer Soccer. During his scholastic career, he was a two-time CVC First Team All-Conference selection and three-time Trenton Times All-Area Team honoree. Pugliese also led Match Fit Academy to three New Jersey State Cup titles and the Disney Showcase National Championship in 2015.
Donigan on Pugliese: “Certainly it’s nice to be able to bring Vincenzo closer to home. We were familiar with him from watching him at both the high school and club levels and feel that he should transition well into our program.”
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