- In contrast to the well-known European system, US Soccer is played, alongside the professional MLS (Major League Soccer), in colleges and universities (College Soccer)
- US Soccer is very athletic: higher tempo of playing, superior fitness
- All universities recruit internationally; popular countries to recruit: Germany, Brazil, England, Australia, New Zealand
- Most schools have professional or State-of-the-art training facilities
- College sport combines education and professional soccer
- All schools play against each other in different conferences and divisions (associations)
- All divisions (associations) are divided into conferences
- Talented soccer players receive large athletic scholarships from prestigious universities
- Athletic scholarships can cover tuition, accommodation and meals
- Regular game takes 90 minutes
- 15 minute overtime if the game is tied; decision by Golden Goal 12. Regular draw after scoreless overtime
Q & A
How are most college soccer teams built up?
For the most part, college teams have a squad of up to twenty-five players. Some colleges provide a second team (JV team) to distribute game practice. In addition to your coach, supervisors and other assistants support your team through the whole year.
How many years am I allowed to play college soccer?
Each student is entitled to play for four years, regardless of whether the NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA are involved.
I am twenty four years old. So I am not allowed to play in the NCAA Division1?Contrary to the widespread opinion, this does not correspond to the content of the NCAA regulations. Instead, the five-year Clock entitles athletes to enter the NCAA Division1 from the acquisition of a sufficient school qualification, in this case a high school degree. To make a long story short, five years from the date of your high school graduation.
Am I still allowed to compete if I graduate earlier?
If you have a five-year eligibility, the school is interested in keeping you involved in its athletic program. On average, a student needs four years to acquire a Bachelor, the rest could theoretically be used to save more costs with regard to a master program. A little advice, with a credits maximum between eighteen and twenty-one per semester, a student graduates on average half to one year earlier than usual. With this in mind, this certain time would cover up to fifty percent a master's program of two years at a US university.
Can I accept funds and gifts from third parties?
The NCAA and the NAIA are amateur associations that prohibit the player from considering private sponsors. So no money and gifts from other people may be accepted. Only scholarships may be awarded to athletes. The breach of these regulations has serious consequences: withdrawal of the right to play as well as all scholarships.
Competitions in the off-season?
The off-season was invented to create an academic space to focus on the students grades. The off-season is characterized by strength training and acclimatization periods. Depending on the university program, a handful of friendly matches.
Transfer to another school?
This is not a problem, only a few things have to be considered: Talk to your trainer about your situation which causes you to consider a school transfer. Before you apply at other schools you need a release from your current coach. This release is necessary for the coach to get in contact with you. Remember: NCAA allows only one transfer during your studies.
Differences between the individual conferences?
Scholarship contracts (Letter of Intent) are usually tailored to individual needs. There are part-scholarships and full-scholarships, which include, among other things, catering and accommodation, or school materials. Big NCAA colleges offer mostly four to five year contracts to a talented athlete. In contrast, NAIA colleges mostly offer one-year contracts.
What documents do US colleges need?
Before signing the contract, the university requires the following things: stamped and sealed school qualifications, income statement of your parents or of the student if self-employed, a certified finance proof of certain amount of money (this serves to protect the university in an emergency scenario).
Do I have to live on college campus?
The majority of US universities require a minimum age of twenty years (US adulthood) for life outside the campus. If the student is not 21 years old, he or she must be on campus for at least one year (depends on the university). Living on the campus is defined by a typical dorm life.
Every US university requires a minimum score of one of the standard tests for matriculation (SAT, ACT etc.). If the minimum score of points is not reached, the test can be compensated with a fifty percent letter. This letter confirms your affiliation to the best of your graduation class (to the first fifty percent). The fifty percent letter must be confirmed by your school and signed by the headmaster. Wide features: Must be printed on school paper (simple paper with school badge), the letter needs a school stamp, letter must be sent in a sealed envelope (two school stamps on the envelope) with your high school address to your preferred US university.
What is a junior college?
A junior college, also called community college, is a two year college. Only General Education Classes are provided. Junior Colleges are able to offer scholarships to players (outside of California which prohibits such athletic aid).
Living costs in the United States?
First of all, it cannot be fully answered. The cost of living depends on the particular state or city.
What do I need to consider when renting an apartment?
When considering a typical US apartment, the I-20 form (after contract signature with college) is usually sufficient. The management office frequently asks for a finance proof (income confirmation) of the future tenant. Generally there is a rental period of twelve months, unless otherwise agreed. The security deposit is one monthly rent in advance.
What do I need to know about food expenses?
The prices of groceries differ between the states. On average, prices are lower than in Australia. Every good university has a cafeteria with acceptable prices. Often, scholarships offer the complete takeover of the catering costs (cafeteria of the university).
Allowed to work in the US?
In order to work officially in the USA you need a S1 visa. The F1 visa is only handed out to full-time students, which means that international students are not allowed to work off campus, except for student jobs on campus.
Does my passport require a minimum validity to enter the US?
The passport should be valid for at least one year for entry into the United States of America.
Why is it important to have a passport valid for more than five years?
When applying the five-year visa to the US, which is fixed in the passport, bureaucratic problems may arise when a new passport is issued, if the passport becomes void before the visa. When the passport expires there is a continuation of the visa, which means that a new passport must be applied but no new visa. As a result, the expired old passport with the valid visa and the new passport must be carried on re-entry to the United States.
Many passport offices deny the return of the old passport when applying for a new passport (no standard statues regarding this problem). In order to save costs and stress, it is recommended to apply for a new passport before the beginning of the trip.