Many college soccer teams in the U.S. look to fill out their rosters by recruiting international students, and it’s a trend that is not going away anytime soon. In fact, during the 2016–2017 school year, there were 39,888 college men’s soccer players in the U.S. Of these players, 2,664 were international recruits. Therefore, international players accounted for 21.3% of men’s college soccer roster spots at the D1 and D2 levels. According to research done at NCSA, 74% of D1 college programs recruit players internationally, 70% of D2 and NAIA college programs recruit internationally, and 33% of D3 college and junior college programs recruit internationally.
Whether international recruits are looking to get more playing time than their semi-pro team can offer them, or they simply want to get a good education while studying abroad, U.S. colleges can be an appealing option. Coaches at most U.S. college teams simply want to recruit the best players they can, regardless of where they came from. However, international recruits will have to put in extra effort to get recruited through an already difficult and time-consuming process. In addition to reading NCSA’s Recruiting Guide and the NCAA’s Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility, potential recruits should refer our recommendations on how to get recruited for men’s soccer as an international athlete and the international athlete’s guide to athletic recruiting in the U.S.
This is one of the most important steps for international athletes to take in the recruiting process, so families should make sure it’s done well. Coaches in the U.S. prefer to see athletes play in person, but they do also watch a lot of recruiting videos when it comes to evaluating athletes. For international athletes, the recruiting video will be the only way to show off their soccer skills, so extra attention should go into it. Read our men’s soccer recruiting video guide and check out more tips on how to make your best recruiting video.
International recruits do not have the luxury of hopping in a car and driving to a university to see how the campus looks. Many aspects of the recruiting and college application process will be difficult to find help for, so it’s important to do plenty of research. Here are some topics to get started:
The NCAA and NAIA have specific documentation requirements for international student-athletes to be academically eligible to compete in college sports. If you’re interested in NCAA D1 or D2 sports, review their academic requirements. Here are a few quick highlights to get started:
It will also be important to learn about different requirements for NAIA schools. Here are some steps to take:
Coaches in the U.S. start filling their roster spots as soon as they can in order to avoid losing top recruits, so it’s important to be proactive about reaching out to coaches early on. Here are a few tips for contacting coaches: