Yes, I believe that aspiring US players should not go to college under ANY circumstances. Let me clarify, I think that the college system we currently have in the United States takes away far to long of a player’s career in exchange for something that won’t benefit their football career at all. That something is a degree. Don’t get me wrong, a degree is great if you do not want to become a professional footballer player and can get a full or partial scholarship to college. But if you goal in life is to become a professional footballer you should by no means even be considering college soccer. Now let’s dive into some of the counter agreements to this point of view and some of the alternatives to college soccer.
IT GIVES YOU A BACKUP PLAN:
Yes, college does give you a backup plan if football doesn’t work out for you, but if you want to become a professional player and you have dedicated your whole life to trying to achieve this goal, you can’t be worried if it doesn’t work out. You must go all in, or it won’t work out. If you spend any time trying to organize a backup plan if football doesn’t work out, your mind is not in the right place. If you believe in yourself fully and are confident in your ability, you don’t need a backup plan.
WON’T I MISS THE “COLLEGE EXPERIENCE”?
Yes, you will. But do you want to go to college and have the “college experience” or do you want to achieve your goal of becoming a professional player. It is a choice you are going to have to make. I will not judge you if you choose to go to college for the college experience, it is up to you. But, just know it will affect your football aspirations in a very negative way.
Now to give you some of the options you can explore if you do not want to go to college.
SEMI-PRO OR LOW-LEVEL PRO
I will be covering the United States system in this article as I am most familiar with it, but in a future article I will be giving you guys this same advice but applied to different foreign leagues. In America if you do not want to play in college you need to go on trial for different semi-pro and low-level pro teams. You should start out with the NPSL, this is the highest level of semi-pro football in the United States and has close to 100 teams in the league. Next you want to look into the USL 2 (previously PDL) they are also a semi-professional league considered to be equivalent in level to the NPSL. This is the league that a lot of college players will play in during off-season. This may be a good league to explore because every teams must have at least 3 player 18 years old or younger on their team, this could give you a much higher chance of being selected for one of these sides. Now into the low-level professional leagues. The USL 1 was added this year to replace the NASL and is known as the third tier of American Football and is a fully professional league. The only problem with this league is that it only has about 12 teams in it, spread across the country. To secure a trial at one of these clubs you either will need to attend an open trial (which is sometimes sketchy) or you need to have a good CV and Highlight video and email this to the coach. The second tier of American Football is called the USL. This is a very competitive, fully professional league with close to 40 teams in the league. To earn a place on one of these teams, you will need to follow the exact same process as previously laid out for getting trials with USL 1 teams.
Wrapping everything up, I am not hating on anybody who decides to go to college. I just do not think it is good for a player’s development or for their hopes of playing professionally one day. If you guys have any questions leave them in the comments and I will be sure to answer them. I will also be covering, in more detail, how to contact coaches and clubs in a future article.