How to become a Professional Soccer player in the United States (USA)March 13, 2021
Soccer in the United States is another popular sport which attracts lots of attention just behind Basketball and American Football.
The Popularity of the sport in the country has made more clubs emerge despite the nature and organization of the top Soccer competitions where relegation and promotion is not option.
Instead, everybody plays professionally in an entirely different league.
In the U.S unlike other countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the club’s from the first division (The Major League Soccer), USL Championship (Second division) and the USL League One are all at the professional level.
In this way, all teams look equal, even though the maturity of the competition differs from each league.
The increasing number of followers has created the urge for young players to break into the scene.
However, making it to the top level looks difficult since the second and third divisions are all professional.
Outside the U.S, the second or third division serves as starting point for upcoming stars.
This article outlines how young Soccer players in the United States should follow in their bid to play the sport at the professional level in the country.
In our well-researched article, here are the best ways to follow to become a Professional Soccer player in the USA
1. Start young
The best time to kickstart your career is at your tender age. At this age, you are more vibrant and open to learning and development of new skills every day.
These days, professional clubs are always on the lookout for young players that would adapt to the system utilized at their clubs before they eventually move into the first team.
Although this is not the thumb rule, it is a more recommended approach if you plan to play at the highest level in the U.S.
2. Travel to U.S cities with more Soccer interest
The reason for creating The USL League One was to expand professional Soccer in the USA to areas where there are lesser or no professional team.
That is, the competition aims at helping players in areas with no professional team to have the opportunity to play at that level.
So, if you reside at a location where there are no teams like that, you should consider leaving that city for a while.
Go to cities with more teams who play at that level have their base. By doing so, you are edging closer to your dreams.
See top Cities in the USA with high Soccer following
4. San Jose
5. Los Angeles
For more see Trulia’s Article
Know about LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC? These two clubs are based in the city of Los Angeles.
If you move to the city, search for Academies. Hopefully, you’ll figure out how to join the the Academy or the actual first team.
Tip: before you move out of your current city, first choose where to go, then Carry out some research about Academies, clubs, etc.
3. Go for trials (paid and free)
The next step to take is to attend trials in cities that have more Soccer activities or any place that with active trials.
Some of them may come as paid trials. Do not sleep, be on the lookout for these trials as they could accelerate your journey towards the professional level within a short time.
I think if you reside in cities like Los Angeles, Dever, Orlando, Atlanta or New York, etc. More chances of trials may come your way since bigger MLS teams have their base over there.
4. Join a college team
If there’s any other away to boost your talent is to apply for a scholarship in any college.
The Benefits of enrolling for College
- Helps to build your talent
The college will make it easier for you to boost your talent. While in college, you can learn new skills, techniques from experienced trainers.
- Learning under professional coaches
There’s nothing better than when you play under professional coaches at this level.
They will teach you almost everything you need to know as an upcoming Soccer player.
- Chance to join the national team
NCCA which is owned by the government controls College Soccer. If you succeed at this point, you can go on to play Professionally for a Major League Soccer club.
Remember in the USA, the top three divisions are fully professional.
5. Join a team in the USL Championship or League one
Even though Major League Soccer is considered as one of the top 10 Leagues in the world, it still does not rule out the fact that you can still play Professionally outside the league.
The competition in Major League Soccer is high. Consider joining teams in the USL Championship or the USL League One.
6. Be consistent
Consistency is the answer to your questions aside from the above-mentioned ways. When there’s no consistency on your path, there’s no way you’ll live up to expectations if the need arises.
Try your best to learn one or two pieces of skills whenever you are on the training pitch.
7. Utilize group training
It is worth trying. Group training will help you learn new skills, patterns and techniques which would help you as a grow further.
Yes you can train alone. But sometimes, group training is a great option to try out.
8. Develop a training schedule
This is another serious aspect of your career. I have friends who aspire to become professional stars in the future.
Now, what I observe from them is consistency.
They’re always eager to play.
What you should do is creating a training schedule that will suit your everyday lifestyle since the game is not yet your career path.
There are five working days in the week, you can as well dedicate the times you are less busy for training.
9. Develop a passion for the game
One way to boost your interest and increase your zeal towards achieving your dreams of becoming a pro is to support a club.
I have friends with high Interest in Manchester United and Chelsea. They’re also aspiring to become greats in the nearest future.
To boost your interest, you could consider supporting Los Angeles FC or any other Club in the country. (Sorry I mentioned Los Angeles FC, I follow them).
10. Have the skill
Ensure you possess the basic skills every professional Coach would like to see in you.
Top skills you should possess as an upcoming player
- 1. Locating your teammate in the perfect position
- 2. Good positioning
- 3. Ball Heading
- 4. Trapping
- 5. Defensive/Offensive abilities
11. Enrol for ODP
The U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program is a program designed to develop high-level players who will represent their states or region and the United States Soccer team in competitions.
If you are still below the age of 20, you can still enrol for ODP competitions.
How can I join the ODP program?
Simple, visit your State Association or search through the US Youth Soccer online directory or better still you can call their telephone numbers.
Even if you do not make the final selection list, you are guaranteed more knowledge, skills gotten during the exercise.
12. Develop yourself on a particular role
You cannot grow quickly if you have no role as a player. Take a closer look at Clint Dempsey, DaMarcus Beasley, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
They all have a particular position.
Choose a particular position you can easily adapt to. If you are good at attacking opponents then stick to it.
Do not begin as a goalkeeper and probably during trials you choose to be an attacker.
13. Join a local team
There are still better options to choose from. You can still play for a local team and expect a change in your career.
It is very possible. So long as you are exposed to the outside world you could get a call up from a Professional Coach who has been watching throughout those months you played for that local team.
Sometimes clubs do send out representatives to training camps, trails in search of talented players.
14. Eat right
As an athlete, you should eat right. There are several reasons team doctors do recommend so.
Always be on the lookout for food that is meant for athletes.
15. Accept the challenge
We all know how challenging it is to become successful. But that should not be your limit, always challenge yourself to work harder.
Never accept defeat, if you do it the right way, you end up successful, achieving your dreams in the end.
16. Check the official website of clubs
Almost all professional clubs in the United States have an official website. Most of the activities at the club are always updated on their website.
You can follow up with the latest development from clubs through their official website including trials and recruitments for their Academies.
17. Establish contacts
For every trails, training camps you attend, take it upon yourself as responsibly to collect contact information of fellow players or managers.
This way, you could get notified whenever there’s an opportunity available for players like you.
You can also make new friends and share ideas with them.
18. Have a CV
Another basic requirement is your CV. Make sure you have a valid CV you can present wherever you go.
19. Join an Academy
There are several Academies in the United States you can choose from. But you should go for the closest to your current location.
What’s the essence of the Academy?
An Academy serves as a Link between amateur players with already established clubs searching for young and talented players that will fill the gaps in their team.
You should not rule out the fact that Academies are also important when it comes to career building.
Soccer in the United States is another lucrative sport behind Basketball and American Football.
Soccer teams in the country pay heavily and you can make something out of it.
Try your best to become successful by following the right ways as there is no limit to how you are doing it.
Keep up with your consistency, you’ll surely achieve success in the end.