Berkeley College Gives Soccer Fans Opportunity to Get Up Close with New York Red Bulls


Contact:  Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 5122



NEWARK — A college president who can “Bend it like Beckham”?
It may be hard to imagine, but it’s true, said Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes, PhD, who joined members of the New York Red Bulls soccer club for a meet-and-greet panel attended by nearly 100 students and prospective students, including the Berkeley College New Jersey men’s and women’s soccer teams and high school Goodwill Ambassadors.
Dr. Cortes, an All-Queens and All-NYC soccer player for Long Island City High School as well as a varsity soccer player for Queens College, emphasized the pairing of athletics and education. He added that he still can be found on the field today.
“When I was a child, we’d play in the street with anything that was round — or square for that matter,” joked Dr. Cortes, a native of Colombia who grew up in Argentina and Queens, NY.
Red Bulls midfielders Danleigh Borman, Matthew Mbuta and Nick Zimmerman, forward Dominic Oduro and Managing Director Erik Stover also shared advice about being a winner in life as well as in soccer.
Following a question-and-answer session, the players were available to talk with the attendees, pose for photographs and sign autographs in the campus Student Center.
“Winners, first of all, are prepared to win,” said Stan Holland, Berkeley College campus operating officer for the Newark Campus, upon introducing the players. “They think like winners, act like winners and most importantly, they look like winners. And it’s not always about soccer.”
Mr. Zimmerman, a native of Florida, attended James Madison University in Virginia before he was drafted.
“I had to do my homework before I played soccer,” he said. “I’m currently finishing up my degree online. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”
“Stay in school,” added Mr. Oduro, who transferred from the University of Ghana to Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004. “It will really help you out.”
Mr. Stover, who joined the Red Bulls organization last year, noted that like Berkeley College, the soccer club is “a true melting pot.”
“We have an international team,” said Mr. Stover, adding that players hail from Central and South America as well as the United States. “We want to not only be the best team we can be, but be representative of the region where we play.”
A $200 million Red Bulls stadium, Red Bull Arena, is currently under construction in Harrison, paid for without taxpayer subsidies, said Mr. Stover. Completion is slated for December, and the stadium should open in 2010 with the start of the new season.
“We want to give people an opportunity to see what we believe is world-class soccer,” sad Mr. Stover. “We’re keeping things priced moderately. We hope to elevate this sport in our club and in this country as a whole.”
Mr. Stover said the Red Bulls value community outreach, hosting regional development academies, soccer programs in local schools, and summer camps at area colleges.
The managing director added that he values the relationship Berkeley College has developed with the Red Bulls.
“We hope that this is the start of a very long partnership,” Mr. Stover said. “I think we have a lot of goals in common.”
“We’d like you to continue to be part of Berkeley College,” said Dr. Cortes. “This is the place to be. We have a tremendous legacy of preparing the future citizens of this world, and for that matter, the future soccer citizens of this world.”

Photo Caption: Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes, PhD, talks about his own experiences as an avid soccer player as New York Red Bulls midfielders (left to right) Matthew Mbuta, Danleigh Borman and Nick Zimmerman look on.

Photo Caption (L to R): New York Red Bulls Managing Director Erik Stover talks with Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes, PhD; Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement and External Relations Lily Sidorovich; and Newark Campus Operating Officer Stan Holland at a meet-and-greet event hosted by the College.

Photo Caption: New York Red Bulls Midfielder Nick Zimmerman signs T-shirts for members of the Berkeley College New Jersey women’s soccer team at a meet-and-greet event hosted by the College.

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