College Bound


Do you have plans on playing soccer in college?  Do you want to play soccer in college but are not sure what to do?


Here are a few helpful hints along with some websites to provide you with some additional information to guide you in this process.  This is the distillation of comments from many college recruiters, soccer trainers, recruitment professionals, and club coaches of high school age players.


Selecting the school.


  1. College selection should always be based on your academic plans and interests or essentially, your college major.  In other words, select the college on the basis of what the college can provide you academically first. After all, you are going to college “to go to college” and of course, receive an education.  Think of it this way.  If you were playing soccer at a particular college and an event occurred which no longer permitted you to play soccer, would you remain at this institution without soccer?  If the answer is yes, you made the right choice for the right reason.
  2. The college environment – urban, suburban, or rural; small, medium, or large; enclosed or dispersed campus.  For example, NYU is a dispersed campus and Rider University is an enclosed campus.
  3. The soccer program best suited for you.  For example, Division 1, 2, or 3.  Division 1 and 2 can offer athletic scholarships (although not all do) and Division 3, which does not offer any athletic scholarships.



Getting noticed.


  1. Based on the criteria above, you should be contacting college coaches of prospective colleges.  You do this by writing to them (emailing of course should be satisfactory).
  2. Contents of the letter may vary but should address the following:
    1. Introduction of yourself to the college coach indicating your interest to attend their academic institution and desire to play soccer.  Introduce yourself as a “student-athlete” versus a one-dimensional athlete.
    2. Description of your academic prowess, your outside interests or additional activities you are involved with to demonstrate how well-rounded you are (i.e., activities involving music, civic, volunteer work, church, leadership experience, etc.).
    3. Your abilities as a soccer player (clubs, high school, etc.).
    4. Lastly, your soccer schedule should be included so that the college coach can watch you play.  Since in New Jersey, college soccer and high school are played at the same time, the schedule that is probably most important is the club soccer schedule since that is generally played in the Spring when college coaches are “not coaching their team” and are available to more actively recruit.  Of course an exception may be a local college.
    5. To this end, your competitive soccer club coach should have provided you with a detailed tournament schedule well in advance so that you can provide this to the prospective college coach. 


Miscellaneous Comments.


  1. The Central Jersey Soccer Association – River City AC Devils have regularly participated in tournaments attended by college recruiters over the last 3 years.  In the last 2 years, the focus has been to participate in very competitive tournaments as well as continue play in a very competitive league (JAGS). 
  2. You may have heard that the tournaments that are frequented by college recruiters are college showcase tournaments.  Yes, that is true (since that is why the tournaments are referred to as college showcases).  However there are many competitive tournaments that do not necessarily bill themselves as college showcases but have college recruiters attend anyway.  Quite often this may be attributed to the fact that a high school player wrote a letter to prospective coaches asking them to watch them play and determine if there is any interest.
  3. Why would a college recruiter or college coach go to a tournament to see a prospective student-athlete versus any other single game?  Logically and mathematically it is simple.  Although a prospective student-athlete contacted the college recruiter to watch them play, it would be a more prudent use of the recruiter’s time to attend an event where not only can they review the prospective student-athlete who contacted them, but also scout out players from 10 other teams who may be playing in the adjacent fields 20 yards away.  The college recruiter could literally scout out over a hundred players in a short amount of time.  This would be particularly advantageous if the student who contacted the college recruiter was not exactly what they were looking for.  Again, attend a singular event with maybe 30 potential players or attend a tournament and scout out 100 or more players in a very competitive environment?




During the last 2 years, the Devils have been contacted by college coaches - both local and not so local - who have attended one of the tournaments the Devils competed in.  The interest by the college coach was unsolicited by the player involved.  In other words, the college coach contacted the team about a player after watching the player compete in a tournament.  In each case, the player was advised of a college coach’s interest.  We fully expect this scenario will continue.  It will be the policy of the team that all future interests by colleges will be immediately forwarded to the player for follow up if the interest is mutual.  This information will not be made public to the team as a whole but will be communicated between the Devils’ coaches, college coach, and respective player.


Links of Possible Importance.


1.      College Recruiting Agency (for professional guidance).

2.      NCAA – Women’s Soccer Administration.  Need to Register?

3.      NCAA Division 1 College Soccer.

4.      NCAA Division 2 College Soccer.

5.      NCAA Division 3 College Soccer.

6.      NSCAA and College Soccer.

7.      NAIA Women’s College Soccer.

8.      Training – UK Elite (trainers the Devils have been using the last several years.



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