Not all fulbol recruiting action occurs on the pitch. If you want to knock the socks off a college soccer coach, follow these recommendations from a few of the game's best.
Start the process early
Casey Crawford, LSU women's soccer captain and defender, advises engaging in the recruiting process early. You'll be ahead of the game, since "college coaches are recruiting earlier every year."
Case in point: Clemson men's soccer head coach Trevor Adair says he looks at players during their sophomore year of high school. "That's when we start identifying and establishing communications with athletes, according to NCAA rules. At the first availability, we'll write and invite them to our camp and see them at tournaments."
Showcase your skills
"Game film can stimulate interest from a coach," says Carlos Somoano, men's soccer assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of North Carolina.
It worked for former University of Maryland defender and New York Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler. "I wasn't too highly touted coming out of high school," he says. "So I put a highlight tape together [with] my dad and sent it out to colleges that I was interested in, and was lucky enough to get a couple of positive responses from some decent schools. [I] went on a couple of visits, one of which was Maryland and got along with [head coach] Sasho [Cirovski]. I had a good experience overall and decided to go there."
Hit the books
Jorge Salcedo, UCLA head men's soccer coach, explains that academics and athletics go hand in hand. "You can't have one without the other," he says. "You can't be a great soccer player and not have the academics—from the SATs to the grades you get in the classes [to] the classes that you take. People have this misunderstanding that if you're a great soccer player, no matter what, you can go to any school, but the standards nowadays keep being increased."
Make the best of your situation
You can be recruited to play for one of the best soccer programs in the country, but that doesn't mean you'll see immediate action—unless it's from the sideline. Such was the situation for former Rutgers goalie Jon Conway, who was initially red-shirted. "It was pretty tough my first year," he says. "I knew I wasn't going to be able to play at all, but it gave me a chance to watch what the other guys were doing and kind of take what they did and apply it to my game."
Hitting the weights to improve his strength also boosted his confidence, which Conway says led him to play even better. After twice being named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year, he was selected in the third round of the 2000 MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes.
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