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Your Guide to College Men's Soccer Recruiting

 

For most soccer players, getting on a college roster is a longtime dream

From running around freshly cut grass as a young kid to training hard on a competitive club team, for most men’s soccer players, the road to playing in college began many years before their recruitment. And that’s why gathering the necessary information and picking the right college to play soccer for is so important. Fortunately, we’ve compiled this informative guide to help readers find the men’s soccer program that’s just right for them.

From club tournaments to the best college soccer recruiting websites, we’ve outlined the major sections that will help guide student-athletes along the way on their college recruitment journey. For example, the recruitment process for men’s soccer swings into high gear in 10th grade. NCSA’s own survey of college coaches states that 74% of Division 1 men’s soccer coaches begin evaluating talent in 10th grade, and another 22% begin in 11th grade. That’s why student-athletes need to obtain club and tournament experience at an early age and make sure they ace the recruitment process every step of the way. To do that, they’ll need to know exactly what college programs are looking for.

Readers should use this sport-specific information along with our College Recruiting Guide, which outlines the recruiting process from the start to Signing Day.

 

Review the college men's soccer NCAA recruiting rules and calendar

The NCAA rules prohibit D1 college coaches from actively recruiting a men’s soccer player before their junior year. However, there are many athletes committing to programs before this time. How is that possible? Read up on the written—and unwritten—rules of men’s soccer recruiting.

Understand how to use the men’s soccer recruiting rules and calendar.

See how you stack up against other athletes using the men's soccer recruiting guidelines

It’s important for athletes to accurately gauge their own athletic talent. By having a good idea of what coaches are looking for in their players, recruits can compile a list of target schools that they qualify for and also determine which division level is the best fit for them. Playing against stiff competition in the U.S. Development Academy, Elite Clubs National League, or Olympic Development Program is a great way to match up against other top recruits. Comparing physical attributes and skill sets to college players is another good way to gauge talent. We’ve compiled guidelines that will help athletes find a program where they can be competitive.

Discover the best division level for you by reviewing the men’s soccer recruiting guidelines.

Learn how college men's soccer scholarships work

Athletic scholarships are available for collegiate men’s soccer players at the Division 1, Division 2, NAIA and junior college levels. However, the number of athletic scholarships varies by division level, and coaches can choose to give out partial or full-ride scholarships. In this section, we explain more about scholarship opportunities, how they are divided up and how Division 3 athletes can find scholarship dollars.

See how much men’s soccer scholarship money you might qualify for.

How to get recruited by college coaches

College coaches are looking for athletes who are fast, skilled and have extensive club experience. However, the only way a recruit can make sure college coaches know who they are is if they’re proactively reaching out to coaches. In this section, we go over what staying proactive in the recruiting process looks like, including how to find the right schools, contact men’s soccer coaches, develop relationships with programs that would be a good fit and much more.

See what it takes to get recruited for men’s soccer.

Discover how soccer scholarships for international students work

About 21% of collegiate men’s soccer players in the U.S. at the Division 1 and Division 2 levels come from overseas. Soccer programs are open to recruiting international student-athletes, but the process is more complex for those living overseas. In this section, we go over important topics for international recruits, including academic requirements and how to communicate with coaches.

Read up about U.S. soccer scholarships for international students.

Create an impressive recruiting video

While college men’s soccer coaches prefer to see prospects play in person, the vast majority of them use highlight videos as part of their evaluation process. Our former collegiate soccer coaches offer insider tips on how to make athletes’ recruiting videos stand out, including how to begin each video, the right footage to use and how to film during a game.

Check out these guidelines for making your highlight video.

Attend men's soccer tournaments, ID camps and clinics

Club tournaments are the most popular means for coaches to evaluate recruits at the D1 level, followed by ID camps and clinics. Gaining experience on the field against other elite players is valuable, but the real draw to attending tournaments and camps is being seen by college coaches who rely on these events to evaluate a large number of recruits in a single weekend or event. It’s smart to attend, but recruits will want to pick the right event for them.

Find the right event for your men’s soccer recruiting process.

Find Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and JUCO men's soccer colleges

There are more than 1,400 colleges across the U.S. that have men’s soccer teams. The real challenge for student-athletes is to find the one that’s the right fit. In this section, we’ve laid out the differences between divisions.

See how college divisions are different.

The best men's soccer recruiting websites

While this men’s soccer recruiting guide is a thorough resource for student-athletes looking to make their way onto a college roster, there are also several websites that offer pertinent information on the college recruiting process. From club soccer tournament rankings to college recruiting news, websites such as GotSoccer, Top Drawer, Soccer Wire, US Youth Soccer and US Club Soccer can offer helpful tips.

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