When Sasho Cirovski and the University of Maryland Terrapins lifted the school’s fourth NCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship trophy in December, the Terps served as a shining example of college soccer’s shifting roster landscape.
Led by Canadian International and No. 7 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, Dayne St. Clair, Maryland fielded seven international players this season, continuing a growing trend highlighted by some of the nation’s most prominent programs.
This trend means strengthening relationships with coaches through the recruiting process is more important than ever. With the evolution of social media, it’s now just as easy for a coach to watch film of an international player as it is to attend a College ID camp.
It is very common to have college rosters at every Division including NAIA that has up to 20-30% of their players from out of the Country. With an average roster size of 26 to 28 players on a men’s or women’s college program, having 7 to 8 of them from different countries reduces the amount of available roster spots for US college high school graduating Seniors from 7000 total a year to approximately 6200 open spots. With 250,000 graduating high school boys and 300,0000 graduating girls a year those 800 spots lost are critical.
College coaches get email and videos from international players wanting to play college soccer at an alarming amount the past year and they are growing.
Think that’s an exaggeration? Akron, Maryland’s opponent in the national championship, rostered 16 international players hailing from countries including Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and more.
Stanford, winners of three straight men’s national championships from 2015 to 2017, rostered eight international players in their most recent title-winning season.
And it’s the same story on the women’s side of the game. Florida State University won the title with seven international players this year, with some coming to Tallahassee by way of Venezuela, Finland, and China.
It’s no longer enough to just be a great player in your region in order to play for a top program. Knowing what a coach expects of their prospective players is half the battle when it comes to finding the right fit for college.
With iSoccerPath’s unique ability to connect players and parents with college coaches through coaching panels and camps as a non-recruiting service, building those important relationships is more doable than ever.
Don’t second guess what needs to be done in order to pave the way for a successful collegiate career. With programs designed by college coaches, iSoccerPath ensures that student athletes are in the best position possible to continue playing while receiving a great education.