Rider senior earns United Soccer Coaches All-America honor
Rider University senior men's soccer student-athlete Jose Aguinaga (Madrid, Spain) has been named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team, the organization has announced. Aguinaga gives Rider an All-American in a second-straight year, joining Christian Flath last season. He's also the sixth Broncs men's soccer player to earn All-America honors, joining Ed Adams (1956), Frank Nerwinski (1959), John Wagner (1967), Bob Smith (1972) and Flath (2016).
Aguinaga led Rider to back-to-back Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Championships in 2015 and 2016 and three-straight MAAC Championship Games in his final three seasons.
"It's a really great day for everyone in our soccer program," said Rider Head Coach Charlie Inverso. "Obviously things would have been even better if we had won the league title again, but this is still a great honor for a great kid. We are about the team first and we try to make sure that we really mean that. This honor needs to be celebrated and shared with the entire team. Jose would be the first to say that the team helped him earn this honor. Now we are hoping that he gets a call for the MLS combine next week. He definitely has what it takes to be a pro."
The 2017 Preseason MAAC Player of the Year and a three-time All-MAAC First Team and All-Northeast Region selection, Aguinaga finished second in the league with nine assists to go along with three goals, two game-winners, all in conference play. He also distributed five of his nine assists against league foes. He scored the equalizer at Saint Peter's, before adding the game-winning goals against Niagara and Iona. His free kick with six seconds left defeated the Purple Eagles, while he finished a cross from his brother, Sergio, in the 77th minute at Iona to down the Gaels.
Aguinaga also made his second appearance on the All-ECAC Team this year. He finishes his collegiate career as Rider's all-time leader in assists with 32, six more than any other player in program history.
"He has come such a long way," said Inverso. "I can remember back to when he didn't start until the eighth game of his freshman year. Adrien Huss was a childhood teammate with him at Real Madrid when they were kids. Adrien was instrumental in getting Jose here. He helped us win two championships, was the all-time assist leader and will graduate with honors with a degree in Mathematics. It's really rewarding because Jose is a great kid. He's a grounded, hard-working kid who worked two part-time jobs in the weight room and doing the team laundry this year. He has been a great teammate and has a heart of gold."